The winter is the perfect time to consider the dangerous effects of radon. Radon accumulates naturally and it can be dangerous to humans. When we’re outside more often in the summer months, it does not pose as big of a threat. However, if it accumulates inside of a building it is extremely harmful to human health. Here are some things to know about radon.
What Is Radon And Why Is It Dangerous?
Radon is a gas that occurs naturally from the deterioration of uranium in soil, water, and rock. It is radioactive, which means it is dangerous in large enough doses. It is invisible, scentless, and tasteless, so you will not even know you are inhaling it. Often, a home will get inundated with uranium from the soil under the basement. Other than cigarettes, there is nothing that causes more lung cancer, and kills 20,000 people every year.
The EPA says that any exposure carries with it the risk of lung cancer, so it’s vital to keep the radon level in your home as low as possible. A person will get more radiation from radon than from any other source, assuming they do not work with radioactive materials on a regular basis.
What To Do?
Since radon is most certainly a major health risk, it is a good idea to purchase a kit at your local hardware store to test the levels in your home. Place the tester on the lowest floor of your home to get the best readings. You can also hire a professional to check your levels. If your level is higher than 4 pCi/l, then it is elevated.
If you have high levels of radon, then you should call a professional immediately to deal with the problem. They will use a process called Active Soil Depressurization (ASD). This process will remove the radon from your home and prevent it from recurring. It involves using a pipe that runs through the floor of the basement and up through the roof. Strategically placed fans will push the radon out into the atmosphere where it will not cause any harm.
Radon is not something to be taken lightly, as it can kill you or your family. Make sure to have your home tested and if necessary, treated, to keep your family safe.
If you are a Minnesota worker who has been injured on the job, do not hesitate to contact Minnesota Occupational Health online, by phone or by visiting one of our Twin Cities locations. Our staff of physicians, many of whom are board certified in occupational medicine, offer years of experience and understanding in addressing work injuries.