10 things to know about Radon

 

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10 things to know about Radon

October 15, 2014

 

 

The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has designated January as “National Radon Action Month”.  Many folks are unaware of Radon and its dangers.

 

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas.  It is a byproduct of uranium when the uranium breaks down. It is released from natural sources such as rock, soil, and even water. 

 

Where is Radon found?

Since Radon is made from natural sources, it occurs basically everywhere and we are all constantly exposed to it.

 

Since Radon is found everywhere, why should I be concerned about it?

Though Radon is found everywhere at low levels, it can reach much higher levels indoors.  The Radon that is produced outdoors seeps into the home through cracks and openings and then collects and concentrates indoors.

 

What will too much Radon do to me?

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

 

How much is too much Radon exposure?

If the indoor levels of Radon reach 4 picoCuries per liter of air, this is the alert level as set by the EPA.

 

How can I find out about my own Radon exposure?

Radon is colorless, flavorless and odorless.  For these reasons, the only way to know if you have significant levels of Radon in your home, you must get a test.

 

Are there people who specialize in testing for Radon?

You can contact your state Radon office to get a list of qualified Radon testers. Florida’s Radon office is part of the Florida Department of Health, Division of Environmental Health. The other option is to test your home with a home kit which can be purchased at a home improvement or hardware store.

 

If I find out that I have been exposed to too much Radon, what should I do?

There are home improvements you can make to decrease your indoor Radon levels.  You can contact your state Radon office for a list of qualified “Radon mitigators”.

 

Are there any special medical tests that I should undergo?

At this time, there are no specific medical tests that are recommended across the board for people who have been exposed to radon.  Of course, you should discuss your Radon exposure with your doctor to see if your specific situation warrants additional medical investigation.

 

Is there anything else I can do to protect myself from Radon exposure?

The main thing that anyone can do is to eliminate exposure to tobacco smoke.  Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer and the effects of radon worsen the effects of smoking.  In comparison, smoking is definitely worse and so you must eliminate your exposure to first hand and second hand smoke.

 

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