Taking care of your family means setting precautions. It’s as simple as double-checking the locks on your doors before you leave the house and as complex as signing up for an affordable yet effective form of homeowner’s insurance in case of a flood. When a deadly issue crops up right under your own nose without you any the wiser, it can come as quite a shock. Radon gas is a notorious substance that is seeing more and more prominence in the United States, an odorless and colorless chemical that can affect your short-term health and even put your family in danger of lung cancer.
Here’s how you can avoid it.
Radon is not a new substance. It’s been around for decades, but only recently has it started to come into the mainstream through increased awareness campaigns and troubling statistics. This odorless, colorless and otherwise unassuming chemical is naturally occurring and can show up anywhere in the country. Some areas, however, are more heavily affected than others.
According to studies provided by the U.S. EPA, nearly one in three homes checked across seven states as well as three Indian lands have tested positive for radon exposure. While a very small amount of radon is considered harmless, these areas have shown screening levels far beyond the recommended level. An amount of radon over 4 pCi/l is incredibly dangerous — a family whose home possesses these levels would be considered exposed to 35 times the radiation as they would be standing by the fence of a radioactive waste site.
The short-term effects of radon exposure can be difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness and nausea. The long-term effects are even more troubling. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the country, alongside active smoking and regular exposure to smog. This is where the efforts of a sump pump installation company come in.
A sump pump installation company can detect radon exposure in your home and provide you the tools necessary to filter it out of the air and reduce it down to manageable levels. Short-term detectors are able to measure radon levels for two days to 90 days, depending on the device used, and long-term tests can determine an average concentration over many months. Local radon testing is a must-have in a country that is racked with thousands of lung cancer deaths every year.
Scientists estimate that lung cancer deaths can be reduced by as much as 4% through the aid of radon detection. That’s nearly 5,000 lives saved. The risk of lung cancer increases by 16% or so per 100 Bq/m increase in long time radon exposure. Likewise, passive systems of mitigation (such as using radon ventilation fans) can reduce radon exposure levels even further.
Your local sump pump installation company can make sure your family is breathing safe, clean air throughout the year. Radon abatement requires a simple test to determine the concentration both in and around your home — if these are above the EPA’s recommended levels, you will then be provided with a radon mitigation and abatement service to reduce these down to a more safe concentration. An estimated one in 15 American homes are breathing in radon-infected air and don’t know it.
Will you test for exposure this year?