Though people in countries like Canada are becoming more and more aware of radon’s presence in their home and taking measures to stop it from affecting their indoor air quality, the radon-driven health issues are still increasing. Radon exposure leads to various, severe illnesses including respiratory and lung diseases. Also, radon affects the resale value of the home. It is difficult for an ordinary person to determine the presence of radon within the home premises. In this article, we will share useful information about what radon is, how it affects health and how you can identify its presence in your home. It also highlights why radon tests in homes in Toronto are important. If you suspect Radon presence in your home, it’s time to hire a professional radon inspection service in Toronto, Canada.
Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts. Outdoors, radon disperses rapidly and, generally, is not a health issue. Most radon exposure occurs inside homes, schools and workplaces. Radon gas becomes trapped indoors after it enters buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Indoor radon can be controlled and managed with proven, cost-effective techniques. Radon in a negligible amount is not harmful; however, breathing it in for a long time can be very toxic. But as the technology is evolving, there are ways to mitigate radon gas risks. There are a few ways that can help you keep the Radon gas level in your home to a minimal level.
Is Radon Present In Your Home? How Should You Do A Radon Measurement?
Yes, radon is present in your home and there are chances that the level is rising. You may never feel the need to measure or test your home for radon gas. However, there are two very simple ways to test your home for radon gas. The first is to use the innovative radon measurement kits. If you plan to do it, you should carefully follow all the instructions given in the user manual.
The second method is to hire a professional team or individual to perform radon testing in your home. It is a more reliable way, as professional Radon testing service providers are experienced and have extensive knowledge. However, make sure that they perform a long-term test (minimum 3-months) for more accurate results.
Radon Exposure – How does it happen?
Radon exposure risks apply when a person inhales considerable amounts of radon over a long period of time. Radon levels in the home, office, school, or other confined structures can be low or high. We spend the majority of our time at home. Radon can infiltrate your home through gaps in the foundation, floor cracks, or wall cracks.
As soon as the toxic gas enters the home, it gets strapped inside and accumulates to dangerous levels. Irrespective of the structure, radon exposure can happen in any home. Surprisingly, radon levels rise to a dangerous level in an insulated home, which is built on the soil containing uranium, thorium, and radium.
Radon experts in the United States quantify the gas in pCi/L, and anything above 4 pCi/L is considered dangerous. According to estimates, 1 out of every 15 homes has higher radon levels. So, there is a possibility that your home may also have higher levels. Radon concentrations are often highest in the basement or on the lowest floor of a house.
How Does Radon Affect Your Health?
Radon Gas can become toxic if inhaled for a long period. It gets inside the lining of the lungs and emits radiation. Over time, these radiations damage the lungs to the point of no recovery, which results in lung cancer. After smoking, radon is the second big reason for lung cancer. On average approximately 20,000+ people die of lung cancer caused by radon exposure. So, it is something we should take seriously.
Indicators of Radon Exposure
Since Radon is a colorless and odorless gas, it becomes difficult to identify its presence right away. The health issues become visible after some time and with consistent exposure to the radon. The major health concern is lung cancer, which may only become visible after years of exposure. Lung cancer may begin as a persistent cough, difficulty in breathing, or asthma. Other symptoms are coughing up blood, chest pain, and weight loss. Call your doctor if you detect any of these symptoms.
Unfortunately, there are no medical tests that can indicate that you have been exposed to radon gas. Also, no treatment can eliminate it from the body once inhaled. However, if you feel that you are exposed to high levels of radon, you must take action immediately. Usually radon detectors can be effective to test radon levels inside any home. Radon detectors are used by professional Radon testing companies in Toronto.
Prevention of Radon Poisoning
There are a few reliable ways that can save you from toxic radon gas exposure. First of all, you should get your home tested for the presence of radon gas. It will help you verify the level of radon in your home. You can either get radon test kits that are widely available in the market or hire a professional radon testing service.
The advanced and affordable test kits seem viable options for checking radon levels for a short-term or long-term. To avoid the exposure in the long run, it is suggested to hire a professional Radon testing service.
According to the experts, long-term tests are more reliable because radon gas levels in the home fluctuate with time. So, a long-term test will calculate the concentration of Radon more precisely. If radon is reaching unsafe levels in the home, then you must hire a professional to do Radon elimination processes.
Radon Mitigation Methods Used by Professionals
Soil suction method
This approach uses a radon fan and a vent pipe to extract radon from beneath your home and exhaust it to the outside.
Enhanced ventilation method
Make sure your home has a well-planned ventilation system so that air can move freely in and out. Also, prevent any methods that can transfer the radon from the lower level to other floors of the home.
Radon sump mechanism
In this method, a void beneath the floor and a pipe are installed. The fan then draws the radon gas out from the home.
This approach blows fresh air inside the home, which keeps the indoor air under constant positive pressure.
Making your residence sealed will not reduce radon pollutants until you adopt other precautionary measures. However, everyone should examine their homes and, if necessary, install adaptive measures.
Facts About Radon Gas That Every Homeowner Should know
An uninvited guest that enters your home
Radon gas seeps into your home without letting you know. It is odorless and colorless. It is formed when uranium, which is a radioactive element, breaks down. It mostly enters the home from the soil on which your home is built. So, the lower floors are the most exposed to radon gas.
Some countries have high radon levels.
Radon is present in every building, but the concentrations are usually modest. Homes in some areas of the country may have greater levels, and it depends on the type of land/soil. Levels may be higher in countries with lots of rock in the ground.
Reducing Radon Levels is not a complicated task
Though high radon levels can cause severe health issues, the good news is that these levels are easy to reduce. Wrong perception is imprinted on people’s minds that it is going to cost them a fortune. Well, nothing is more expensive than human life. There are a few simple approaches as discussed earlier that can be followed to reduce radon levels in the home. The cost depends on the method and the type of home you own. Radon mitigation measures include either ventilating the radon out of the house by applying a negative pressure or by maintaining a positive air pressure in the house to prevent radon from entering. Most treatments work for a long time and simply need to be checked regularly.
Immediate action is necessary for unsafe radon level
If we inhale an enormous amount of radon for an extended period, this exposure can cause harm to our lungs, increasing our chance of lung cancer. Also, if you smoke and live in a radon filled home the chances of lung cancer are doubled. That is why, if you have high radon levels in your house and smoke, you must take action.
Remember that radon gas is present everywhere. When a high radon level is identified, you should consult an expert. When an elevated radon level is discovered, addressing the issue might help safeguard the value of the home and the lives of the residents.
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I am a professional radon technician who enjoys writing about radon to spread awareness of this harmful, radioactive gas.