Radon is a colorless and odorless chemical element that produces radioactive particles in the air we breathe. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 14% of lung cancer cases are caused by exposure to radon.
So we know it’s dangerous, but if it’s invisible, how can we protect ourselves from radon?
Keep reading as we share the signs of radon to look out for in your home, as well as the potential symptoms of radon for your health.
What Are the Signs of Radon?
It is notoriously difficult to find radon signs in the home without using specific equipment. The two main ways that radon enters the home are through the soil or rock beneath your home, or through the water supply.
Start by checking your basement and all entryways for cracks in the walls and floors.
This is not an ideal test, however, as there are plenty of other causes for cracks in walls and floors, besides radon. You can also find radon in homes without the presence of cracks in entryways.
What Are the Symptoms of Radon?
Radon poisoning can cause a wide range of health issues. Many people only find out their home has dangerous levels of radon after they have been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Other symptoms of radon exposure to be aware of are wheezing, fatigue, weight loss, chest pain, a persistent cough, or frequent lung infections. Much like the signs to look out for in your home, these symptoms are not exclusive to radon poisoning, so testing your home is the only definitive solution.
When testing for radon, you have two options: short-term and long-term tests. As radon levels can fluctuate, it is strongly recommended that you use both.
Start by testing the lowest floors in your home that are commonly used. You can pick up tests at hardware stores or order them online from radon testing companies.
The borderline level to look out for is 4 pCi/L. Any levels of radon at this range or higher means it’s time to take the next steps.
If you find there is radon present in your home, there are many ways to counteract this. A radon mitigation system will lower the levels in your home by extracting air from the soil and directing it away from your property.
One immediate step you can take is to increase the circulation in your home. Open all windows and use fans to circulate the air if you have them.
Is Your Home Safe From Radon?
We’ve now seen that simply checking your home for signs of radon is a difficult task. The only way to put your mind at ease is to get both short and long-term tests for your home.
It’s well worth taking the quick and easy steps to find out if your home has high levels of radon. If necessary, you can then act fast by taking radon mitigation measures.
For other lifestyle and health advice to keep you and your family safe, take a look at the rest of our blog posts.