Radon Action Month
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found in homes an buildings. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and it is especially dangerous for children. Here are some things to know about the dangers of radon and how to protect your family:
What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is produced when uranium, thorium, and radium break down in soil, rock, and water. It can enter homes and buildings through cracks in the foundation, walls, or floors, and it can accumulate to high levels in poorly ventilated spaces.
Why is radon dangerous?
Radon is dangerous because it emits alpha particles, which are high-energy particles that can damage DNA and other genetic material in cells. When inhaled, these particles can cause mutations in the cells of the respiratory tract, which can lead to cancer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and it is estimated to cause about 21,000 deaths in the United States each year.
Is radon a risk for children?
Children are at a higher risk of developing cancer from radon exposure because they have smaller lungs, they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults, and they are more sensitive to the effects of radiation. Children who are exposed to high levels of radon over a long period of time are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer later in life.
How can I protect my family from radon?
The best way to protect your family from radon is to have your home or building tested for radon. Radon testing kits are widely available at hardware stores and online, and they are relatively inexpensive. If your home or building has high levels of radon, there are several options for reducing the levels, including sealing cracks and openings in the foundation and installing a ventilation system.
In conclusion, radon is a dangerous and potentially deadly gas that can be found in homes and buildings. It is especially dangerous for children, who are more sensitive to the effects of radiation. To protect your family, it is important to test your home or building for radon and take steps to reduce the levels if necessary.