Radon is a very dangerous gas. It releases toxins into the air and is harmful for anyone and anything that breathes it in. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, which makes it even scarier to a homeowner. Since it is relatively invisible to all the senses, the effects of this gas creep up and hit when its least expected. Radon is found in the soil, which decays the gas to create the harmful toxins. It can be found in any home, school, office, or other building. Any low area of the house or building is in the danger zone; basements, ground levels, crawl spaces and first floor rooms should take note and be aware. Radon poisoning also occurs when there is poor ventilation in these areas. The ventilation is important because the more that the Radon gas-infused air is trapped, the more dangerous and poisonous the air becomes.
Radon is not only found in the soil, but it can be found in water sources as well. If homeowners test for Radon in the soil, they should also test for Radon in water just in case. Radon may be entering the home through the pipes, faucets, drains or other appliances that use water. Water that is contaminated with Radon gas is not very common in the household. Mainly Radon enters the house through the soil, but Radon in water is can be an issue as well.
Radon poisoning most commonly comes in the form of lung cancer. Since there are toxins in the Radon gas, when it gets into the air that people breathe it becomes a problem. When you breathe the air that Radon gas inhabits, the gas gets trapped in your lungs and builds up over time. The buildup could then create poisonous, cancerous tissue in the lungs. The EPA estimates that over 20,000 lung cancer deaths are due to Radon gas in homes or frequently visited buildings.
Radon gas poisoning is extreme. Many people who have lung cancer and are non-smokers contract the deadly illness from Radon gas. It is unfortunate because many people never know that they are at risk for Radon poisoning until it is too late. If 1,000 non-smokers are exposed to a Radon level of 20pCi/L over a lifetime, about 36 of those 1,000 people could get lung cancer. This risk of cancer can be compared to 35 times the risk of drowning. This is an extreme example, but if anything, it proves that homeowners should definitely test for Radon gas presence in their home. Not only should the homeowners test for Radon, but if the level that comes back from the test is high, they need to mitigate and reduce the level so everyone in the home stays safe.
Radon gas is a very dangerous gas that a small percentage of people are aware of. Radon poisoning could be threatening families without their knowledge. Radon gas is all around us, also, which makes Radon poisoning even more of a threat.