Radon is a colorless and odorless gas. It is part of the radioactive decay chain of Uranium, which is found in small amounts nearly universally throughout the earth’s crust. As Uranium decays, it produces Radium, then Radon, then heavy metals such as Polonium, working its way down to a stable Lead. Each step in the decay process releases radiation. This radiation can cause health problems, which is why we test.
But why would it be in my house? As Uranium decays to Radon, Radon releases into the soil air between particles of the soil. As a system, a house often has lower pressure than the outside. This is caused by heat rising and escaping the house (called the stack effect), and the venting of kitchen fans, bathroom fans, and dryers. To make up the air that is expelled, air enters into a house. Most of this air enters from the outside air, but some of the air in the surrounding soil can also be drawn into the house. Common areas of entrance are basement and foundation cracks, uncovered crawls spaces, unsealed sump pits, and unsealed holes for utility entrances.
The main health hazard from Radon and its decay inside a home is lung cancer. The EPA estimates that Radon causes 20,000 deaths from lung cancer in the U.S. every year. That makes it the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. We may not be able to see, smell, or sense radon, but it is a real danger. That is why the U.S. Surgeon General recommends that every home be tested for Radon. The only way to know if your home has high concentrations of Radon is to test.
Schedule an Apex Radon Test today and move forward with confidence.