Is Radon in Your Home Affecting Your Health?
There is a serious danger affecting one out of every eight homes in Michigan: radon gas. Radon, which is created naturally when uranium in soil breaks down, can enter your home through cracks in solid floors and walls, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors and other easily fixable home issues. If it builds up inside your home, it can be lethal. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, causing 21,000 deaths a year.
Since radon is invisible, has no smell and causes no warning signs like headaches or skin rashes, the only way to tell if your home’s levels are too high is by testing your indoor air.
How do the tests work?
There are two types of radon tests: passive and active. Passive devices don’t require electrical power and use things like charcoal or plastic film to trap radon particles. These particles are then examined in a laboratory to determine if radon is present and at what level. Many radon testing professionals will use what’s called an active device, which is plugged in and it continually monitors the level of radon in your home.
Where can you get a test?
Home radon testing kits are available at Lowe’s, Home Depot and other home improvement stores and cost around $10. Follow the directions and mail it to a lab for analysis (some have the lab testing fee built in while others require an additional payment of up to $30). Check out this guide for where to buy a radon test kit in your area.
How often do you need to test?
Radon should be tested every couple of years, or more frequently if your home goes through any renovations or significant changes. Radon is more likely to enter your home through your basement, so if you spend a majority of your time down there, you should test for radon more frequently.
If you’re concerned about other ways your house might be affecting your health, check out these other blogs:
- Thirdhand Smoke: A Danger You May Not Know About
- 6 Simple Ways to Detox Your Life
- The Surprising Impact of Indoor Lights on Your Body
Photo credit: Porsche Brosseau