About Radon Gas

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What is so bad about Radon Gas? If you think it's no big deal, read this article. You'll discover why it's such a concern. You'll also see why you need to make sure your home doesn't have high levels of it. Where does it come from and how does it seep into our homes.

History

  • Radon Gas is made with a natural radioactive element called radium and is created when it decays. This is a natural occurrence that is said to have existed from the beginning of time. Radon which is in the ground, seeps up through the soil and enters the atmosphere. Since this is a natural occurrence it does not pose any threat.

Significance

  • Realtors commonly request that a property be tested for Radon. This is a concern because Radon can seep into the basement through cracks in the basement walls. If ventilation is inadequate, radon gas can be dangerous.

Warning

  • According to the Newton website, exposure to Radon Gas has the same cancer causing effects as smoking dozens of cartons of cigarettes. Radon gas effects lung tissue and shows up as cancer. Someone who has been exposed with high levels of Radon gas will show signs of bronchitis or pneumonia, wheezing, heavy breath, and infections. Since there are other diseases that share these same symptoms, it is hard to tell that Radon gas poisoning has occured.

Time Frame

  • Proper testing of Radon gas is critical. Tests such as Pro-Lab Radon Gas Test Kit (RL116) are designed to detect radon in the home. The user places the collector in the lowest livable floor in the house for 2 to 7 days. At the end of this time, the test is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Geography

  • The amount of time exposed to high level of radon gas makes a difference. An Iowa study printed in the American Journal of Epidemiology, 151(11): 1091-1102, (2000) found that exposure to Radom at a level equivalent to about 4 pCi/L over a 15 year period posed a 50% or higher risk. This suggests the seriousness of residential Radon and its significant risk factor for lung cancer.

Geography

  • Consider your location. According to the Radon Kits website, Radon is present in drinking water at a higher than normal level in the following states:

    • all New England states
    • Alabama (Northern, Alabama)
    • Arizona (Southern Arizona)
    • California
    • Colorado (Central Colorado)
    • Florida (Tampa area)
    • Georgia (Northern Georgia)
    • Iowa
    • Idaho
    • Maryland
    • Minnesota
    • Missouri (Southern Missouri)
    • North Carolina
    • North Dakota
    • New Jersey (Northern New Jersey)
    • New Mexico
    • Nevada
    • New York (except New York City and Long Island)
    • Oregon (Portland & Salem areas)
    • Pennsylvania (Eastern Pennsylvania)
    • South Carolina
    • South Dakota
    • Tennessee
    • Texas (Austin & Amarillo areas)
    • Utah
    • Virginia
    • Washington (Northeast Washington)
    • Wisconsin
    • West Virginia (Eastern West Virginia)
    • Wyoming (Eastern Wyoming)

Benefits

  • Radon is actually used in some spas. As ludicrous as it may sound it presumably is used for medical effects. A health fad prompted by the initial discovery of Radon had some makers of candy and toothpaste adding it into their products; until the concern of health risks were posed. Studies are now underway into the treatment of painful degenerative joint and spine diseases using Radon therapies.

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