Officials Sound Alarm On Cancer-Causing Radon

The goal of Radon Action Month in January is to bring awareness about the potentially hazardous gas and to prevent deaths.

Radon is a radioactive gas occurring naturally in rock, soil, and water; it has no smell or color. Even though many individuals are unaware of its risks, it is the top cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, according to the American Lung Association.

In the US, radon is responsible for over 21,000 annual lung cancer fatalities, as reported by the EPA.

If you have never had your house tested for radon or don’t know the levels, the CDC suggests doing so. If you’re in the market to purchase or sell a home, plan to make significant improvements, or anticipate spending a lot of time in the basement, the agency recommends testing before and after.

During the winter, when the earth freezes and traps the gas in the soil, radon levels tend to be higher in homes. The uranium in the ground and rocks breaks down naturally, causing the release of hazardous odorless fumes. The radon rises and may enter houses via fissures and breaches in the foundation. The fumes enter a basement or crawl area and work their way into the living areas.

While radon levels in houses may be elevated, the good news is that it’s easy to test for and eliminate. At-home testing ranges from $10 to $12 and can be purchased at most hardware stores.

If you are looking for a radon tester or a home repair specialist, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests contacting your state’s radon program.

The EPA suggests fixing your property if radon levels exceed four picocuries per liter. If radon levels are too high in your house, an expert can set up a method to bring them down.

Because one of the suggestions for proper test results is to have windows and doors closed, safety experts believe that radon testing is best done in the winter.

About 21,000 Americans lose their lives each year to lung cancer due to radon, making it the second most common cause of lung cancer in the United States after smoking.