Posted on: 19 September 2022Share
Radon tests allow you to check for an invisible gas that could significantly affect your health and the people around you. It is important to understand the reasons for performing radon level tests and the signs that testing is necessary. Let's look at what radon is, some of the associated health problems, and the indications you should test a building.
What Is Radon?
In addition to being an invisible gas, radon is radioactive. This radioactivity comes from underground deposits of materials like uranium or thorium. Although people tend to think of these materials as part of human-driven processes like nuclear energy generation, these materials appear naturally.
Normally, the presence of such radioactive materials in the ground is harmless because there's no way for the radioactivity to easily reach the surface. However, disturbing the ground can disturb the deposits. Even something as simple as building a foundation for a house or sinking a water well can expose radioactive materials to airflows. These airflows can draw out radioactive gases that may go into buildings.
Associated Health Problems
The link between radiation exposure and cancer risk is well established. People who are exposed to radon will often experience respiratory issues. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind cigarette smoking. Nagging coughs are among the most common symptoms of radon exposure. People can also lose weight suddenly, develop chest pains, and cough up blood. Shortness of breath is common, too.
If anyone is experiencing any of the above symptoms, ask a professional about conducting home radon tests. You should also consider radon testing if you live in a part of the world radon exposure is more common. The EPA publishes a map showing the risk on a county-by-county basis. Anyone who lives in Zone 1 should perform radon tests before buying a home or after constructing one.
Signs You Need to Test
Typically, radon has to sneak into a house through some means. Cracks in a home's foundation are common. If you drink well water, the gas could also follow the water into your house. Folks who are experiencing unexplained respiratory problems should consider testing their homes if they live in affected regions, have a house with foundation issues, or use well water.
Fortunately, there are remediation options available if radon tests reveal problems. These may include fixing the foundation, finding new water sources, and improving ventilation. If there is a problem, you should hire a professional contractor to handle the remediation process. For more information on radon tests, contact a professional near you.