Radon Lung Cancer’s Secret Weapon
It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer and the first leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It’s deadly, an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that threatens to overturn communities in the Midwest and in other locations. It’s radioactive, spreading free radicals in a person’s lungs after inhalation. It’s Radon.
Radon, although stated by The Surgeon General that it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today, has become almost like its properties: invisible, not as well known as cigarettes in America’s consciousness. Most likely. Everyone knows smoking causes lung cancer but radon poisoning is less well-known.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, nearly one in three homes in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended action level for radon exposure. The ramifications of that kind of number can be seen in the following example.
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 a fence of a radioactive waste site. That alone should give a person concern when it comes to radon levels.
Radon has a complicated history with America. It is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that results in lung cancer; however, the doctors even into the past century were touting radon ‘spas’ as a way to rejuvenate skin. In the past, this touted claim has garnered the attention of beauty enthusiasts from the United States to Europe.
Scientists now think they have discovered why radon causes lung cancer, and the general consensus is that the skin rejuvenating claims made by radon spas have been debunked. Radon is a product of uranium decay; as uranium decays, radon is produced. Because it has such a long half life, radon will never completely go away.
When Radon enters the human lungs through inhalation, it latches onto the cells within the lungs, infecting them with free radicals. The free radicals in turn cause decay within the cells, leading to lung cancer and the death of thousands of people each year.
The risk of lung cancer increases by 16% per 100 Bq/m increase in long time average Radon concentration. Radon concentration appears typically at low lying bodies of water–for instance the bodies of water of a flooded basement or generally the lowest part of the house. Radon exposure generally comes with radioactive water.
If you’re an individual who is concerned about this radioactive poisoning caused by an unstable isotope of Uranium, there are testing kits available that can determine the level of this isotope in your home. If you search radon testing or residential radon testing services, you will encounter some testing kits that suit your needs.
One of these testing kits tends to be short-term, in that it measures the levels of this unstable isotope for one to 90 days. These tests can give a good barometer on the level of this unstable isotope in your home. There are also long-term test kits, which give a good barometer for the amount of this unstable isotope in your home for longer than 90 days.
With both test kits, it’s important to note that you will need to follow instructions placed on the test kit. It is possible that these test kits will have you place the test kits at the lowest part of your house, which for many people in residencies is the basement. This is because radon comes from the ground.
About 1 in 15 U.S. homes is estimated to have radon levels at or above the Environmental Protection Agency action level. In some states, this number is even higher. Always check to make sure your home isn’t infected by radon. In fact, the best thing to do is get the test kit, which is available at local hardware store.
If you’re in serious need, consider contacting a company that does radon testing. These companies will have the equipment needed to test for radon and the ability to do so quickly and without a significant burden, which eases your cost for the test. It is also possible to get radon treatment from these companies.