What Is Radon and Why Is It Bad?

What Is Radon and Why Is It Bad? Image shows man reviewing paperwork at table.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from uranium in the soil. Although it exists in trace amounts all over the world, it can cause significant health problems if you happen to have a high concentration of it in your WA home.

Danger, Danger: You Can’t Smell, See, or Taste Radon

As a result, you may never know your home has a problem until it harms you and your family. Our professionals at Ballard Natural Gas encourage all homeowners to test radon levels in Seattle and to let us help you with remediation steps if your home exceeds the recommended radon levels.

What Are the Health Hazards of Radon?

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG), radon-related lung cancer causes roughly 20,000 deaths annually and is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, beat out only by smoking.

In addition, children are at greater risk because they are still growing and developing, have different-sized and -shaped lungs, and breathe faster than adults, reports the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

What Are the Chances You Have Too High of a Radon Exposure?

According to the American Cancer Society, the way you are most likely exposed to radon is inhaling it in your home or workplace. Radon levels vary depending on the location of your home or business.

Individuals who work in confined, underground areas, such as the basement levels of buildings or in mines, may be at higher risk. In some cases, radon can leach into groundwater, and you can be exposed by ingesting it as well. However, this is significantly less of a concern than inhaled radon gas.

How Can You Minimize Your Radon Risk?

The best way to reduce your risk of radon exposure is to perform a radon test. Since you can’t detect radon with your senses, and it can take years to develop adverse health symptoms, the only way you can protect yourself and family from this carcinogenic gas is by testing.

You can conduct a simple short-term radon test yourself by buying a kit at any Seattle home-improvement store. The short-terms tests screen for two to 90 days.

These kits are typically used in the lowest level of your home where you spend time, which may include a basement play area or rec room, or may be the first floor of your house. Should you discover elevated levels with a short-term test, you may then want to run a long-term test, which takes longer than 90 days.

If you have radon levels at 4 pCi/L or more, you best contact us to help mitigate your radon as soon as possible. Radon levels change over time, so be sure to retest at least once every three years, or if you remodel your home, or when you update your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Call Us Today

Our certified experts at Ballard Natural Gas here in Seattle, WA, have experience with radon testing as well as with providing radon mitigation services. We would be happy to recommend a testing kit, help conduct a radon test, recommend a testing kit, or work with you to remediate any discovered radon problems in your home. Call us at (206) 784-8101 or request service online today because it is never too early to know for sure about radon.

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