Radon is a Serious Potential Danger in Every Colorado Home
Radon, the #1 Cause of Lung Cancer after Cigarettes
The United States EPA has formally stated its position on the hazards of prolonged exposure to radon gas. The Surgeon General of the United States has advised that radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soils, rock, and water throughout the U.S. Radon causes lung cancer, and is a threat to health because it tends to collect in homes, sometimes to very high concentrations. As a result, radon is the largest source of exposure to naturally occurring radiation.
Why haven’t I heard about this before?
The medical community nationwide first became aware of radon in 1984. That year a nuclear plant worker in Pennsylvania discovered radioactivity on his clothing while exiting his place of work through the radiation detectors. The source of the radiation was eventually determined to be radon decay products on his clothing originating from his home. Only recently, after exhaustive tests, has the severity of the problem been quantified.
Where does Radon come from?
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and it enters the air you breathe. It can infiltrate any type of building - homes, offices, and schools - and build up to high levels. But you and your family will likely receive your greatest exposure where you spend most of your time... your home.
Radon is a Cancer-causing, Radioactive Gas
You can't see, smell, or taste radon but it may be a problem in your home. It is estimated that radon causes many thousands of deaths each year because breathing air that contains radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon is a Serious Danger in Every Colorado Home
Colorado has high levels of radon producing minerals in the soil. Some mountain areas have enormous levels of radon; as much as 100 times the EPA guideline for safety.
What Can I do About it? You Should Perform a Radon Test.
Conducting a radon test is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and Surgeon General recommend conducting a radon test on all homes, second floor and below. The EPA also recommends that schools be tested. Radon testing is inexpensive and easy. Millions of Americans have already conducted radon tests in their homes. You should always test any dwelling in which you plan to live for any significant time.
Can I Fix the Problem?
There are simple, relatively inexpensive measures that you can take to fix a radon problem and even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.
Hazards to Occupants – Even if a test determines that the concentration of radon gas in a particular building is quite low, there is still a very real health danger.
Financial Loss to Owner at Time of Resale – A home buyer who purchases a home after the date of the Surgeon General’s National Health Advisory on Radon, and subsequently discovers their home has a high level of radon, may have to install a mitigation system before they can sell the home.
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