Radon The Silent Odorless Killer


Radon gas removal system

There are many things that kill or harm human beings that aren’t generally well-known to the public. And while many indicators of those afflicted with lung cancer have to do with cigarette smoking and other forms of smoking, there’s another kind of killer that threatens to harm Americans and their families across the country.

Radon is a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths, behind smoking. It is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among causes not including any kind of smoking. It kills roughly 20,000 Americans per year through lung cancer alone, and some put that number closer to 30,000 per year.

These estimates were taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office. The U.S. EPA has been at the forefront of investigatory and advocacy towards the issue of Radon, at least according to these recent statistics. The Surgeon General, in fact, was the one who warned about radon and lung cancer.

What is Radon? Radon is, as said before, a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths, behind smoking. It is a radioactive isotope of Uranium and occurs whenever Uranium decays. When Uranium decays, it releases Radon into the area. Since both have long half lives, both will be on Earth for billions of years.

Radioactive as an unstable isotope means a significant amount and certainly enough to scare a great many individuals. However, there are other statistics and examples about Radon that will likely put a great deal of fear into many people if they understood the example and accepted that Radon existed.

Before the example, there are certain levels of Radon as measured by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The US EPA measures Radon according to a strange scientific unit called pCi/L. Their threshold for a call to action against Radon in that home is 4 pCi/L. The example below indicates how dangerous that is.

A family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/L is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. That is significant and what is equally alarming is that many states have this level of radioactivity.

According to the US EPA, nearly 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure. In fact, about 1 in 15 U.S. homes is estimated to have radon levels at or above the EPA action level.

Radon is a serious concern for many people who likely don’t buy into the hype about these radioactive baths that are supposed to lead to healthy, less contaminated skin. Radioactivity causes cancer, as it releases free radicals into the body and in some cases into the brain, leading to madness and death.

For those that are frightened by the possibility for their home being overrun with Radon, it is possible to buy a Radon testing kit from a local hardware store. The Radon testing kit is generally considered either a short term test (lasting fewer than 90 days) or a long term test (lasting longer than 90 days).

Because Radon comes from the ground, a Radon test kit should be placed at the lowest point in the home, which is often the basement. Radon often enters the air through water, so any installation that involves water and is close to the ground is a place where a test kit may be placed for accurate results (possibly).

One of the areas that can have issues with radon is the sump pump. Sump pumps, because they have water close to the ground, can give off Radon into the air. A sump pump installation company should be able to make note of that. The important thing about a sump pump installation company is honesty and integrity.

A sump pump installation company may also be able to do Radon test results, Radon testing and inspection, or residential Radon testing services. A sump pump installation company may or may not be staffed with competent professionals. Always ask for references. That’s a little bit about Radon and about sump pumps.