How Radon Affects the Human Body

Radon, a colorless, odorless gas, is found everywhere on the planet. It makes up a tiny percentage of our natural air composition, alongside other gasses like nitrogen, oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide. On its own, radon is relatively harmless.

As an unstable element, however, radon quickly breaks down from its gaseous state into solid radioactive material dubbed radon progeny. This material, specifically lead and polonium, is very harmful to the human body – and as per the American Cancer Society, sufficient levels of radon in the air translate to higher levels of lung cancer, even in non-smokers.

Why Is Radon Found in Homes?

Radon is released into the air when pockets of uranium underneath the surface of the earth decay into radium, and eventually radon. Uranium itself is an abundant resource, a silvery white metal, and is found predominantly in the earth’s crust and at about the same level as tin.

Homes that happen to be built in areas with a lot of pockets of uranium are at higher risk for radon poisoning. The only way to know whether you’re at risk is by contacting a local professional to test your home.

What Does Radon Do to the Body?

On its own, it’s very hard to become acutely poisoned by radon. Rather, the danger in it lies in several decades’ worth of radon absorption, which leads to lung cancer caused by lead. Lead is a carcinogen, which when inhaled lodges itself onto the lining of the lung and irradiates it slowly, damaging and eventually corrupting cells, limiting their ability to regenerate properly and causing them to malform into cancer.

The risk is higher with smokers, research finds. Some of the worst levels of radon poisoning occur in the mining business, as they’re subject to a host of other carcinogens like uranium dust.

Avoiding Radon.

Radon cannot be entirely eliminated, but contacting a professional expert like SWAT and installing a radon mitigation system can drastically lower its levels in at-risk homes, and reduce the potential for cancer in your family.

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