The year 2020 has been quite a wake-up call for all of us here in Illinois. It has compelled us to adapt in ways we perhaps once hadn’t given much thought before the coronavirus.
One of those major adjustments has been the rising frequency of working from home to support social distancing. The shift to remote work has become so great that it may alter working arrangements when we return to relative normal.
Google recently prepared a report aimed at understanding what has changed in response to contending with the virus. According to that report, 39% fewer people are now at their workplaces (i.e. they’re working from home). Further, close to 90% of companies have encouraged or mandated remote work for their employees.
Among other things, what does that indicate for those of us who live and increasingly work from home in Oswego, Naperville, Aurora, Yorkville or Plainfield? It means that we spend more time than ever in our dwellings, which exposes us even more to the danger of radon if our home has high levels.
Radon Risk and Exposure
An invisible, colorless, tasteless and odorless radioactive gas, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. A person is exposed to radon mainly by breathing it from air that seeps through pores, cracks and gaps in the home’s foundation.
When radon is inhaled, radioactive particles from it can get trapped in the lungs, where, if they continue to accumulate, they can damage DNA in the lung tissue and lead to cancer.
Health problems caused by radon are related mainly to the level of radon in the home and how much time in spent in exposure to the gas. Other contributing factors are past or present cigarette smoking and the burning of substances such as wood or coal, which can add more breathable particles to the indoor air.
An estimated one in six homes is estimated to have high radon levels. As you can see in the accompanying map, those of us in Oswego, Aurora, Yorkville and Plainfield occupy an Illinois region identified as having a higher risk of radon (Naperville, in DuPage, is in a zone of moderate risk).
Radon Testing and Mitigation
Having your home tested for radon is the best way to measure its presence. Homeowners often can start with a basic kit purchased at a hardware or home improvement store. However, for the most thorough results and guidance, your optimal resource is a certified professional that can apply a more sophisticated radon detector.
If testing shows elevated levels of the gas (4 picocuries per liter of air or higher), the level should be lowered to help protect your safety and health. You can achieve this with a radon mitigation system.
A mitigation system reduces the radon by redirecting it from inside air to sealed ventilation pipes. The system also helps remove other soil gases that can leak into the home, such as methane and chlorine.
Because the earth will always produce radon, the gas cannot be eliminated and will remain a possible danger. It’s easy to see how important and valuable a radon mitigation system can become for the many people now working from home.
Your Local Resource for Protection from Radon
As a certified specialist, Trinity Electrical and Radon Mitigation helps safeguard homeowners in Oswego, Naperville, Aurora, Yorkville and Plainfield with the service and information they need for radon testing and mitigation. If you have questions or concerns about exposure to radon during remote work in Illinois, feel free to call us at (630) 499-1492. We’ll be glad to hear from you and assist you.