Radon is all around us. We breathe it every day. However, since it is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, you cannot tell when you are breathing it at high levels. While it hardly poses any danger outdoors, exposure to high indoor radon levels can cause serious health problems.
How Do You Get Exposed to Radon?
The primary source of radon exposure is inhalation. Once formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil and rocks, the gas comes up through the ground and penetrates indoor spaces through cracks in walls and floors and gaps around service pipes and electrical wires. Over time, radon is trapped in the indoor air and it becomes part of the air you breathe in.
Radon can be present in homes, schools, and workplaces. That said, the rooms closest to the ground including basements, crawl spaces, and ground floor spaces have the highest radon levels.
Symptoms of Radon Exposure
Recent research has shown that the majority of us spend about 90% of our lives indoors which makes radon a serious threat to human health.
When a person is exposed to elevated levels, the gas damages the lining of the lungs putting them at risk of lung diseases like emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic interstitial pneumonia. The most common symptoms associated with these disorders are a persistent cough and shortness of breath.
The primary adverse effect of exposure to high levels of radon is lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and it’s only second to smoking. More than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States are traced back to radon exposure. Research has shown that smokers have a 25 times greater risk of lung cancer when exposed to prolonged and elevated radon levels.
The lung cancer symptoms are subtle and may only appear when you are close to or already have cancer.
Here are some of the early lung cancer symptoms to look out for:
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent infectious like bronchitis and pneumonia
What To Do if You Notice Radon Poisoning Symptoms
If you notice any potential symptoms of radon exposure, immediately do the following:
1. Visit a Doctor
There are no medical tests to check how much radon you’ve been exposed to, but your healthcare provider can conduct tests and put you on the right treatment.
2. Test Your Home
Testing is the only way to determine how much radon is in your home. Schedule a professional radon test for the most accurate results.
3. Install a Radon Mitigation System
The EPA recommends installing a radon mitigation system if your radon levels are above 4pCil/L or higher. The goal is to minimize the levels as much as possible because no level of radon exposure is considered safe.
Reduce Radon Gas With Teton Radon Services
For high-quality residential and commercial radon testing solutions, call Teton Radon Services. With 15 years of experience and state-of-the-art technology, we can help you test radon levels on your property in 48 hours and offer guidance on the best mitigation system for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.