Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can enter your home through cracks and gaps in the foundation. It is odorless, tasteless, and invisible, making it difficult to detect without proper testing. Exposure to high levels of radon gas over a prolonged period can lead to serious health problems.
The primary health risk associated with radon exposure is lung cancer. Radon gas decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. Over time, these particles can damage your lung tissue and increase your risk of developing lung cancer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year.
The risk of lung cancer from radon exposure depends on several factors, including the level of radon in the air, the length of exposure, and individual susceptibility. Smokers who are exposed to high levels of radon gas are at an even greater risk of developing lung cancer.
In addition to lung cancer, radon exposure has also been linked to other respiratory problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.
The good news is that the risk of radon exposure can be reduced. Testing for radon gas is simple and inexpensive, and if elevated levels are found, there are effective mitigation techniques available. The EPA recommends that homes and buildings be tested for radon every two years, and that any radon levels above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) be mitigated.
In summary, radon gas is a serious health risk that can lead to lung cancer and other respiratory problems. It is important to test for radon levels in homes and workplaces to prevent unnecessary exposure and take corrective actions to reduce the risk of lung cancer. If you are concerned about radon gas in your home, contact a qualified radon testing professional for assistance.