Is Radon Cancerous?

Radon is an invisible, odorless, and radioactive gas that is found naturally in the environment, but is radon cancerous? It is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks, and it can enter homes through cracks in foundations or walls, but primarily from sump pump pits and crawlspaces. Radon is a Class A carcinogen, which means it is known to cause cancer.  When radon accumulates in large enough concentrations indoors, it can become a health hazard. The biggest concern with radon is that it has been linked to lung cancer and has been noted to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.  Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths annually.  On average, radon related lung cancer accounts for approximately 21,000 deaths each year.  

Risk Factors

While there has been a lot of research done on the potential risks of radon exposure, there is still some debate about how exactly this gas affects human health. In general, though, I do know that long-term exposure to elevated levels of radon increases your risk for developing lung cancer. When it comes to determining if you’re at risk for radon-induced lung cancer, there are some factors you need to consider. Smoking dramatically increases your risk for any type of lung cancer (including those caused by radon). If you’re a smoker who spends time in a home with elevated levels of radon gas, then your chances of developing this type of cancer are greatly increased. If you have already been exposed to radiation from other sources (such as medical treatment), then your risk will be even higher.

Steps to Take

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the potential dangers associated with high levels of indoor radon gas. The most common solution is to install a permanent system in to your home called an “Active Soil Depressurization System”, most commonly referred to as a radon mitigation system.  This type of system actively reduces the amount of radon gas inside the home by utilizing a specialized radon exhaust fan to remove a large portion of the contaminated air before it enters your general breathing air within the structure. This helps reduce the amount of radon present indoors and lowers overall exposure.  Another common method is called an air exchange system or “Energy Recovery Ventilator”.  These systems tie in to your existing duct work from your furnace system.  These systems allow more air to be brought in from the exterior, while exhausting air from within the home to the exterior.  These systems are typically utilized when a traditional radon mitigation system cannot be utilized.  

Need for Ongoing Testing

In addition to installing these systems in homes where elevated levels have been detected, it may be necessary to conduct periodic testing after installation. There are several “do-it-yourself” test kits available online or at local hardware stores which can detect the radon concentration during the exposed time frame.  The hiring of a licensed professional, such as The Radon Wizard, will always be the best option as our equipment can provide more information than the cheaper “do-it-yourself” kits.

We Have You Covered

Although there is still some debate about how exactly indoor radon affects our health – scientists agree that long-term exposure does pose certain risks – especially for individuals who already smoke or have had past radiation treatments. Fortunately, with regular testing and proper installation/maintenance of mitigation systems, most people don’t need to worry about their homes becoming hazardous because this dangerous gas can be managed effectively when addressed promptly and appropriately. Call the professionals…call The Radon Wizard Today.