How to find radon near yourself
Radon’s physical and chemical properties:
Radon in home is a radioactive partially inert gas which causes cancer. Presently in the United States, radon is becoming the second most major reason for causing lung cancer. The studies of researchers say that children have got more chances of being affected by radon due to their increased respiratory rate and rapid division of cells. Radon is colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that’s why you can’t see or smell it and it becomes dangerous. It is one of the heaviest gases, nine times heavier than air. It is made of a single atom and can easily pass through low-density materials like paper, wood etc. it can also penetrate through building materials like concrete block, wood paneling and some insulations. Each year approximately 20,000 deaths are caused by lung cancer according to the U.S EPA and Surgeon General’s Office. The cost of treatment of Lung cancer caused by Radon costs over $2 billion in the United States each year, whether that’s direct or indirect health care.
Radon in home and workplace:
The percentage of people living in indoor and confined areas like in mines and buildings are more prone to radon and its decay products than the people who live in outdoor environments. The amount of radon concentration in power stations, tunnels, caves and spas’ increases the percentage of radon gas in the inhaled air. It is estimated that the quantity of radon gas found in any home is less than that found in any basement or mines. There are many occupations where workers are exposed to radon gas. It is found that underground mines have relatively less than 28pCi/L concentration of radon and its decay products. These conclusions are drawn from countries whose data were found or available. The profession in which the workers have to face radon gas and its decay products the most is the underground uranium miners. Some other mineral processing or underground workers are also open to higher levels of radon in home.
How does Radon enter a home?
Since radon in home is a gas it is able to move everywhere in spaces in the soil or fill in space in any material. In lowest portion of the home during the heating season a negative pressure develops. This negative pressure plays the role of a suction and sucks soil gases including the radon gas into the basement of the house. So home vacuum is caused by:
- Stack Effect in which the hot air rises inside the home
- The Downward Draft effect in which the wind blows across the home.
- Vacuum Effect in which air helps fireplaces, wood stoves, and furnaces to work
- Vacuum Effect in which the air is pulled out by fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
Radon can also enter through any hole between the soil and home and through walls and floors. Example of such crevices is unsealed sumps, utility penetrations, tiny holes in concrete block walls etc. Always test your house for radon and there are two methods to do so:
- To buy a radon test kit and do test yourself
- To hire services of a radon professional for performing test