Do you know what the second-leading cause of lung cancer is? After cigarette smoking, it’s prolonged exposure to radon gas. Much like deadly carbon monoxide poisoning, radon is unable to be seen or smelled. Unless they have their homes tested, many people don’t know this silent killer is living with them until it’s too late. That was the case for Illinois resident Gloria Linnertz, whose husband died from Stage 4 lung cancer caused by radon poisoning in 2006. A radon test one month after his death showed that for 18 years, he had been living with more than four times the EPA’s action level of radon. Sadly, this couple’s case is not isolated.
Facts About Radon Gas
Radon is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Although not all cases of non-smoking lung cancer can be connected to radon exposure, it’s safe to say that many can.
But why is radon so pervasive in our environment? Because it’s naturally occurring. Radon comes from a natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. That’s how it can so easily enter homes, schools and other buildings; it happens through cracks in floors, holes in walls, and the many construction gaps that exist around service pipes and electrical wires. Considering this, it’s no surprise that the EPA reports elevated levels of radon gas exist in all 50 states. It also makes sense that high radon is a danger in one out of 15 American homes.
How Radon Causes Lung Cancer
The most common way radon enters the body is when someone breathes in its radioactive particles. However, it can also be unknowingly swallowed in water. In both cases, the people who consume it become vulnerable to lung damage, including lung cancer. For smokers who ingest radon, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control reports that the risk of developing lung cancer becomes 10 times greater.
How to Test Your Home for Radon
Radon can exist in homes of any type. The age of the home does not necessarily matter, nor does it matter if the home has a basement. The only way to determine how much radon is present is by testing. To do this, hire a professional radon tester or order a short-term or long-term radon test kit (the long-term kit is more accurate). The Environmental Protection Agency has declared January to be National Radon Action Month. That makes this a great time to have your home tested for radon. Repeat the test every two years.
To learn more about preventing radon poisoning, call Wain Security today. We look forward to providing you more information.
About Wain Security
Since 1999, Wain Security has been a family-owned company specializing in commercial and home security. Cleveland area homes and businesses are our priority, and we care deeply about the people, families and neighbors within. For a free security audit of your home or business, contact us at (216) 475-6565.