Why is Radon Dangerous?
Radon is a naturally-occurring gas resulting from decaying uranium in the ground. Like carbon monoxide, you can’t see, taste or smell it. Why is radon dangerous? Because radon is radioactive. If you’re exposed to it in high enough concentration over a long period of time, it can lead to lung cancer.
Signs of Radon Poisoning
Since the result of radon poisoning is lung cancer, the signs of radon poisoning are the same as the symptoms for lung cancer:
- nagging cough
- coughing up blood
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- frequent bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis
- unexplained weight loss
But, these symptoms don’t just happen from walking into a room with dangerous levels of radon. There are no known symptoms for short-term radon exposure. In fact, they may not show up for many years, and only after prolonged exposure. The problem is, however, that once you experience the symptoms of radon poisoning, you may already have lung cancer.
How to Reduce Radon in Your Home
You can’t have radon removed from your body, but you can remove it from your home. First, test your home to see if you have dangerous levels of radon. DIY radon test kits are available at home centers or online. Or you can hire a company to come to your house and perform the test. Basements and crawl spaces are the worst offenders because of their proximity to the ground.
If you find out that you have dangerous levels of radon, you’ll likely need to install a radon mitigation system to evacuate the gas from your living space. This is best performed by a professional, but a serious DIYer could install their own radon mitigation system, or at least save a bunch of money by doing some of the prep work. Check out these radon mitigation system tips.
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