Can Radon Be Dangerous To Your Health?
Radon is a radioactive gas that you can not feel, see, smell or taste. It starts from most rocks, and uranium decays. When uranium starts decaying, it turns into radium which is another metal. Breaking down of radium results in radon.
Radon gas becomes part of air and water when it leaves the soil. When the gas enters our homes and bodies, it can be dangerous. Since there is no way to detect radon, particular types of equipment are required to detect it. Therefore, it is important to get your home tested for radon.
Can radon be dangerous to your health?
Once you breathe radon, it enters the lungs lining and gives off radiation. Long time exposure to radon gas can lead to lung cancer. The second causing element of lung cancer is radon after smoking. When you breathe both radon and smoke, you have a higher chance of developing lung cancer.
More than 20,000 people die each year due to radon inhaling. Some researchers link radon to other kinds of cancer, like leukemia, but the evidence is not clear enough to prove it.
When are you exposed to radon?
Every building, office, or school is built into the ground. If there are any cracks in floors that are not fully sealed, radon will escape the soil and get indoors. It gets trapped in enclosed areas and often has high levels in basements because they are close to the ground. Survey says that 1 out of 15 houses have high levels of radon.
Some materials like wallboard and cement made from natural substances can give off radon. So does granite tops. But the amount is primarily low. It might increase the radon levels in your home, but not too dangerous levels.
You can also get exposed to radon in your workplace, especially working under the ground or with phosphate fertilizers.
How can you protect yourself?
You can test your workplace or your home with a radon testing kit. Some kits will measure levels for some days, and others collect data for at least three months. All you need to do is keep the measuring equipment in your room and then send it to the lab. You can also contact a professional who will test your workplace or home for radon levels.
What are the symptoms of radon exposure?
Symptoms will not show right away. Health problems like lung cancer can show up after many years.
Symptoms of lung cancer are nagging cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath that does not go away. Other symptoms are coughing out blood, chest pain, and losing weight without trying. If you notice such symptoms right away, consult a doctor.