January is National Radon Action Month! Read on below to learn more about radon and what you can do to limit or prevent radon exposure for your family.
What is radon?
Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe (1). Radon gas is released all over the country, but some states like Pennsylvania, have a higher radon risk because of their geographical make-up.
(Photo courtesy of Radon Detection and Control)
How does radon affect my or my children’s health?
Radon, when inhaled in large quantities over time, can directly impact your lung health. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after tobacco use. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. Children are particularly vulnerable, since they breathe in more air per volume and spend more of their time indoors in homes, day cares, and schools. Radon exposure is entirely preventable with effective action (2).
How am I or my children exposed to radon?
The only way to measure radon exposure is to test for radon in your indoor environments. Radon can get into any type of building—homes, offices, and schools—and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time (1). Radon exposure through aging school buildings is a growing concern. Currently, radon testing in schools is only required in 9 states – and not all regulations are written the same (3, 4).
What can I do today to protect myself and my family from radon exposure?
You can test your home today by purchasing a radon test kit. For more information on radon testing, click here. If you do find levels of radon in your home above the upper limit of 4 pci/L, use a certified radon mitigator to help vent the radon gas out of your home. For a list of qualified radon mitigation companies near you, click here.
Has your child’s school or day care center tested for radon? If not, we can help them get started. Give us a call or send us an email – we’d be more than happy to help!