When buying, selling, or just living in a home, there are certain things that everyone should look for. The presence of radon gas is one of them. This gas can cause significant problems for the homeowner in terms of their health and overall wellbeing. Learning a bit about what radon gas is, where it comes from, and why it can be potentially dangerous may be what you need to keep you and your family safe.
What is Radon Gas?
Radon gas is a radioactive gas by-product of uranium breaking down in the soil and rock that your house is built on, this gas is present in homes all across the country and is relatively common so it should be a concern for all homeowners. Radon can be found in any home. The age, style, size, or materials that the home is built from having no real bearing on how much or how little radon can be found inside them. It has been found that the greatest exposure to radiation that any one person is going to get is likely to come from home.
Why is Radon Gas So Harmful?
Radon gas is very harmful to the human body, mainly to the lungs. Breathing in radon gas for prolonged periods can lead to a persistent cough, hoarseness, coughing blood, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pains most commonly associated with coughing or laughing, persistent infections of the lungs like bronchitis and pneumonia, and wheezing. These symptoms tend to worsen over time.
As the radon poisoning progresses you may also have a loss of weight, loss of appetite, and even fatigue, Radon damages the lining and cells of the lungs, this damage makes those, that are affected more likely to contract lung cancer, a deadly disease that kills tens of thousands of people each year. Radon poisoning can cause lung cancer in people that do not smoke or that have never smoked.
What are Some Possible Sources for Your Radon Gas Problems?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that cannot truly be prevented. Since water comes in contact with the soil and the bedrock that your home is built on all the time, there is no real way to prevent radon from being produced. As the water breaks down the uranium in the soil and, rocks the gas can enter the home through cracks and gaps that are present.
The logical answer would be to tightly seal a home, right? Wrong. Tightly sealed homes are more likely to experience a build-up of radon gas because there is nowhere for the gas to disperse. Radon gas can easily enter nearly any home and if your home is very well insulated, very tightly sealed, or does not have proper ventilation, it is much easier for the gas to build up and cause health issues.
Short term exposure to radon gas is not incredibly damaging. It is the long term exposure that causes health problems and eventual cancer in some cases. You must test regularly in your home for radon gas, especially if you are experiencing any of the symptoms that are common with radon poisoning.
The damage caused by radon poisoning is not reversible, but it is treatable. You can still live a long and happy life after exposure to radon gas provided you have gotten rid of the gas or removed yourself from the area where you were affected. Radon is not something we can avoid entirely, but it is something that we can monitor and keep in check. MTS Inspections offers a range of radon gas testing and home inspections and we can check the home and the radon levels to make sure you do not have dangerous levels of radon gas.