Radon is a type of gas that is toxic and harmful to you. Though it’s commonly present in residential areas in Colorado and other states of the US, it can lead to severe health issues. The best part is that it’s easy to deal with this problem using experts’ suggested techniques. Read further to learn what you can do to protect yourself and your family if you find traces of Radon in your house.
High Level of Radon in Colorado
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that produces during the breakdown of uranium in the soil. This gas moves up from the soil and spreads in the air. Radon is dangerous for humans and can significantly affect the lives of people. Unfortunately, high levels of Radon are found in all the states of the United States and almost every part of Colorado. In fact, in Colorado, more than half of the properties have higher levels of Radon than the US Environmental Protection Agency suggested level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).
Since Radon is present in nearly all soils, it’s not uncommon to have it in your own homes. Radon typically moves up in your house through holes and cracks in the foundation. Once it gets to your house, your property traps it inside. In case of large production of Radon in soil, your house might start to build up Radon in more significant amounts, leading to severe problems. Also, any property can have a radon problem. This means old and new homes, drafty and well-sealed properties, and houses with or without basements can build up Radon. Radon can also enter from the well water, as it has soil in its bottom. Some building materials can also produce Radon, but it can rarely cause problems for homeowners.
How does Radon get into Your Home?
Here are a few things that allow Radon to enter your property.
- Your house is on the radon pathway that helps it transfer in the air.
- It can come from the spaces between the slab and walls.
- Radon can transfer into the through foundations or wells.
- It can enter the house through the drains and sump pumps
- You can notice its signs near the joints and plumbing penetrations.
- Radon is available in the crawl spaces.
It is important to note that the age, type of construction, design, and materials used do not matter when it comes to Radon; high levels of Radon can be present in any property.
Radon in Water
Generally, drinking water is obtained from groundwater sources like wells, springs, and boreholes. These water sources have greater concentrations of Radon than other sources like rivers, reservoirs, or lakes. However, we still don’t have any concrete research that shows that increased radon levels can lead to stomach cancer. Expert suggests that Radon is present in water released in the air that can become the cause of lung cancer.
Whether or not radon concentration in water is harmful to you, it’s better to take specific measures to reduce Radon in drinking water supplies. You can use effective and straightforward techniques such as granular activated carbon filters or aeration.
Health Effects of Radon
Radon is one of the major causes of lung cancer. Some research indicates that Radon causes around 3% to 14% of lung cancer in the US based on the smoking prevalence and the national average radon level. Moreover, the uranium miners first reported an increased rate of lung cancer. This occurred when miners were exposed to high concentrations of Radon.
Note that studies in China, North America, and Europe have indicated that low concentrations of Radon can result in severe health issues and can become the cause of an increased rate of lung cancer worldwide. This means people living in Colorado can also develop this problem.
The risk of lung cancer rises by 16 percent per 100 Bq/m3 in case of long-term exposure to Radon. To be precise, the risk of lung cancer increases with increased radon exposure. Another thing to remember is that Radon is more toxic and problematic for people who smoke. This way, chain smokers are more prone to developing lung cancer if exposed to Radon than nonsmokers.
Methods to Reduce Radon Levels in Your House
You can opt for several methods to reduce radon levels in your house. But one of the most common techniques people use is the vent pipe system. This method force radon to come up from the ground and then vents it outside the house. Experts also call it a soil depressurization system that doesn’t require you to make great changes in your property. Additionally, these systems can be more effective by caulking holes in your home and repairing foundation cracks.
Once you install a radon reduction system in your home, test your house again to determine the radon levels and to check whether the system is working. Keep in mind that you need to retest your home every two years to ensure your home is safe to live in for you and your family. Retest your home for radon composition if you remodel your property or make any changes in any space.
In a nutshell, Radon can be harmful and can even lead to lung cancer. It’s essential to test for Radon in your house so that you can take specific measures to prevent health issues from developing. Also, make sure to test your house regularly to avoid your risk of developing lung cancer.