What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, chemically unreactive, radioactive gas that comes from the break down of uranium. It is a single molecule, which allows it to penetrate solids easier than multiple-molecule gases such as air (O2). It is also the heaviest gas on Earth, nine times heavier than air.
Where does it come from?
Typically radon comes from ingenious rock and soil, but is sometimes found in well water. When found in the home or workplace, it comes from the soil, building materials, or groundwater. It is not geographically specific, and is found at high levels in all 50 states. Buildings are the perfect breeding ground for high radon levels, as the difference in pressure between inside a building and its foundation acts as a vacuum, sucking radon directing into the air we breathe.
How does it hurt?
While Radon is can be harmful if ingested, it is through inhalation that it proves to be deadly. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and poses a bigger health risk to Americans than even drunk driving. Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of radon. They have higher respiratory and cellular division rates due to their size and the fact that they are growing.
How is radon detected?
Radon is colorless, odorless, and does not show any symptoms until it crops up in respiratory illnesses like lung cancer. Therefore, the only way to detect radon is with an alarm system, such as this one by Safety Siren. Most buildings have a certain amount of radon in the air, but once it reaches the point of danger, at 4pCi/l, the Safety Siren will emit an audible sound to warn you of increased risk.
How do I get rid of radon?
Unfortunately there is not a lot an individual family can do to reduce radon. You will need to hire a contractor that specializes in radon reduction techniques. If you have questions about your contractor, check with your local radon office to make sure he or she meets their requirements.