Radon is an invisible gas, making it hard for people to identify whether their home is free from this radioactive gas or not. Even in schools, doing a radon test is necessary to identify whether it is safe for kids. There is a need to ensure that where you will live, study and work is a radon-free area. And the only way to do it is to conduct radon testing and apply the measures needed to decrease the radon levels. Although exposing yourself to radon will not kill you instantly, its effects can be felt in the long run. Instead of waiting for radon’s adverse effects, it is crucial to decrease your chances of radon exposure.
How Are People Exposed to Radon?
Radon is everywhere. You may not feel it because it cannot be seen or touched. However, it is vital to prevent yourself from radon exposure because it is a cancer-causing gas. Not only that, but it can also lead to other health conditions that you don’t want to happen, neither to you nor to your family. However, no matter how cautious you are and no matter how many renovations you do to your home to make your home radon-free, chances are, you can still get radon exposure. But how?
Suppose your home is already radon-free; your kids might still get radon exposure from the building where they study. Usually, radon comes from buildings like homes, offices, and schools, increasing the chance of inhaling this radioactive gas. The worse fact is that radon is higher indoors than outdoors. Not only that, but radon is everywhere in the United States. Meaning, wherever you go, there is a threat to this cancer-causing gas.
5 Ways to Decrease the Chance of Radon Exposure
Since radon is everywhere, it can be found in most buildings, are there ways to prevent yourself from radon exposure? The answer is yes; there are several ways on how you can decrease the chances of radon exposure, from hiring a licensed radon contractor to using radon test kits. Here are some of them:
1. Conduct radon testing to homes, offices, and schools.
The first step to get yourself away from radon is to test the areas you usually go to, whether they have high radon levels. If your home is already radon-free, suggest radon testing to your office and your children’s school. It is better to ensure that their common places are radon-free instead of believing that they already are.
2. Decrease the radon levels and make it zero if possible.
No matter how high or low the radon level is, the best way to ensure that you are safe from cancer-causing gas is to make the level to zero. If you are building or renovating your home, you must consider construction techniques to make a radon-free home. These techniques can also be used when building offices and schools.
3. Seal any cracks in floors and walls.
If renovation is too costly, you may consider it later. You can do other ways like sealing the cracks in floors and walls to fix your radon problems temporarily.
4. Improve ventilation to buildings.
Aside from sealing the cracks and opening to floors and walls, another simple way to decrease radon exposure is by improving the building’s ventilation. Opening the windows and using fans is a cost-effective way of improving air circulation.
5. Don’t smoke indoors.
Did you know that smokers have a higher risk of getting lung cancer? So better quit smoking and try to follow a healthier lifestyle.
The Effects of Radon Exposure
What if you neglect all the tips in decreasing radon levels and you live life the way you want it to be? What will happen if you are always exposed to high radon levels? What health conditions can you get aside from lung cancer? Here are some of the adverse effects when you let yourself be exposed to the cancer-causing gas:
Radon damages the cells in your lungs.
Radon does not give you lung cancer right away. It slowly damages the cells in your lungs, leading to lung cancer. If you have been exposed to radon, it is essential to know the early signs and symptoms of lung cancer so that you can talk to your doctor about treating this health condition. Some of the early signs and symptoms include:
- chest pain (especially when you cough or laugh)
- infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia
- a persistent cough (sometimes with blood)
- shortness of breath
Radon exposure can lead to childhood leukemia.
Aside from lung cancer, it was found out that radon exposure can cause other types of cancer, including childhood leukemia. Although the evidence is not strong and more studies should be conducted, no one can change the fact that radon is a threat to human health.
Radon can lead to an increased mortality rate.
According to a study, radon exposure was significantly associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease mortality. It only suggests that residential radon exposure may increase the mortality rate.
Radon is only one of the invisible gases that no one can see, feel, hear, or taste. But its effects are truly alarming, knowing that it can cause cancer and otehr adverse health conditions. Therefore, you need to conduct radon testing and make sure that the radon level at your home, office, or school is zero. Preventing yourself from radon exposure is a safety measure to decrease the chance of getting lung cancer.