What is Radon?
Radon is a natural radioactive gas that is odorless, tasteless and invisible. Radon is caused by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water. Radon enters the body through inhalation and ingestion. It is directly responsible for causing respiratory cancer in individuals that have been exposed to this gas in high levels.
Because Radon gives off radiation, it can damage the DNA in our cells. Some scientific studies have shown that children may be much more sensitive to radon exposure, because they see higher respiratory rates and rapidly dividing cells as they grow. In any case, the gas can cause severe radiation damage in the lungs and surrounding areas of the body.
Radon gas is actually nine times denser than air, and because it’s comprised of a single atom that means it can easily penetrate a great deal of materials or layers. For example, Radon gas can pass through paper, leather, plastic, paints, sheetrock, concrete blocks, mortar and even insulation.
Radon can actually build up inside a home without the inhabitants knowing. Interestingly enough, smokers are actually more susceptible to lung cancer in a home with higher Radon levels. The gas can also be found in any indoor area where air is confined. Some other common places that see elevated Radon gas levels include schools, workplaces, mines, spas and more.
Radon is a national environmental health problem. Elevated radon levels have been discovered in every state. The US EPA estimated that as many as 8 million homes throughout the country have elevated levels of radon. Current state surveys show that 1 in every 5 homes have elevated radon levels.