What is Radon and why should I be worried?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has no odor, color or taste and is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Uranium is found in all soils and in higher concentrations in granite, shale and phosphates. As it decays into radon gas, it moves through the soil into the atmosphere, where it is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air or can enter buildings through foundation openings and become trapped inside. When it enters a building, it can accumulate and present a health concern for occupants. Buildings other than homes can also have radon concerns (such as commercial buildings, schools, apartments, etc.).

According to EPA estimates, exposure to radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year, more than drunk driving, household falls, drowning, or home fires.

How to Find Out If You Have a Radon Problem

Since you can’t see or smell radon, special equipment is needed to detect its presence.  At American Inspection and Detection we specialize in quick turnaround times for the detection of Radon gas in your residence or business.  Contact us to schedule your appointment today!

Issues with Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that has no odor, color or taste and is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Uranium is found in all soils and in higher concentrations in granite, shale and phosphates. As it decays into radon gas, it moves through the soil into the atmosphere, where it is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air or can enter buildings through foundation openings and become trapped inside. When it enters a building, it can accumulate and present a health concern for occupants. Buildings other than homes can also have radon concerns (such as commercial buildings, schools, apartments, etc.).

Radon breaks down into several radioactive elements called radon decay products, which are solid particles that become suspended in air. They are extremely small and easily inhaled, where they can attach to lung tissue. Not everyone exposed to radon will get lung cancer, but the greater the amount of radon and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk of developing lung cancer. Radon is classified as a Group A carcinogen, a substance known to cause cancer in humans. Next to smoking, scientists believe that radon is associated with more lung cancer deaths than any other carcinogen.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Lung Association (ALA), the U.S. Surgeon General, and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) – in addition to many other health organizations – all agree that radon is a health concern that must be addressed. The U.S. Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, issued a national Health Advisory in 2005 warning Americans about the health risk from exposure to radon in indoor air. The nation’s chief physician urged Americans to test their homes to find out how much radon they might be breathing.

“Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country,” Dr. Carmona said. “It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”Dr. Carmona noted that more than 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer each year.

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