Colorado is a great place that many are proud to call home!
I have been to many places, but nothing quite compares to Denver and having the Rocky Mountains at your fingertips. Most of us enjoy all of the healthy outdoor activities that lend themselves to this great state, but with all the beauty and adventure we also have a problem that many do not know about: radon.
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium and can be found in many different types of soils around the U.S.. Radon is also one of the leading causes of lung cancer in America today, second only to smoking. According to the EPA, Radon-induced lung cancer accounts for roughly 21,000 deaths in America each year. That’s more than drunk driving, fall accidents, drowning, or home fires.
Radon gas is invisible and odorless, similar to carbon monoxide but not nearly as deadly. Every person is different, but radon-induced lung cancer generally does not happen over night. Radon attacks the body and lungs over a period of time until it breaks down the lung tissue enough to lead to cancer. There are many different factors that will contribute to a person getting lung cancer from radon. A few examples include: amount of radon in a home, amount of time spent in the home with elevated levels, smoker status (If you are a smoker, your risk exponentially increases), if you live an otherwise healthy lifestyle, and if you have a family history of related medical issues.
Radon is produced naturally in our environment and is always in our atmosphere; the problem is when it builds up to dangerous levels in our homes. Our homes are generally sealed very well, so when radon enters the home it is subsequently trapped, causing radon levels to rise. Radon can enter the home in many ways, but every home is different due to construction techniques and the amount of radon producing elements in the soil. It does not matter if your home is 100 years old, or just built last week, radon can produce constantly for billions of years and it will immediately infiltrate the building it sits beneath.
RADON CAN INFILTRATE A HOME DUE TO:
- Cracks in solid floors
- Construction joints
- Cracks in walls
- Gaps in suspended floors
- Gaps around service pipes
- Cavities inside walls
- The water supply
So, how do you know if you have a radon problem in your home? You test. It is a very simple process that only takes a few days to perform. The most common form of testing is a charcoal canister test kit that homeowners can purchase. Radon mitigation companies can also provide test kits or at least lead you in the right direction, but it is in your best interest to do diligent research to make sure you are getting the right information.
If you find that your home does have elevated radon levels, the next step is to find a state certified radon mitigation contractor to install a radon mitigation system in your home. The process will be different for each home but the goal will be the same: remove the radon before it has a chance to enter the home. Generally, you can have this process completed in one day and the systems are usually maintenance-free.
Radon does pose a very serious risk to us here in Colorado, but there is a fairly simple way to address and mitigate that risk. Test your home today; don’t let radon interfere with our healthy, Colorado lifestyle!
Troy Skaggs, Featured Consultant | Apex Radon