Radon Exposure is the Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer in the United States
Thanks to intensive public awareness campaigns, most Americans know that tobacco smoking is the single biggest cause of lung cancer in the country. Yet, what is less commonly known is how noxious the second-leading cause of lung cancer, radon gas exposure, is. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Surgeon General, radon causes more incidences of lung cancer among non-smokers than second-hand tobacco smoke; radon exposure causes an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year, of which nearly 3,000 are people who have never smoked.
In a 2000 study in Iowa, nearly 1000 female residents were considered by researchers. The study showed, after adjusting for age, smoking and education, a nearly 50% increase in the risk of lung cancer when subjects were exposed for 15 years to radon at a level of 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon gas remediation.
Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally present in rocks and soil. The gas is odorless, tasteless, and invisible; otherwise undetectable by a human’s five senses — which contribute to its dangers. Radon naturally escapes up through the ground and later enters homes by diffusing through the foundation. Once inside, radon often stays trapped. The EPA estimates that nearly one out of every fifteen homes in the country is at risk for high radon levels and recommends annual testing of homes for radon.
Being radioactive, radon naturally decays and emits tiny radioactive particles. These particles, when inhaled, can cause irreparable damage to the lungs and eventually lead to increased risks of cancer. Those most at risk are children and young adults as during this period of life more cells are dividing at a faster rate.
The good news is, while radon might be impossible for a human to naturally detect, there are a number of simple, inexpensive test kits that can be utilized to determine whether or not a building has high levels of the gas. Homeowners and renters should note that it does not matter whether a home is new or old, nor does it matter whether a home was built out of expensive or inexpensive materials; radon can seep through most home foundation materials.
Should a home test positive for radon, homeowners and renters have a variety of ways to reduce their levels of natural exposure. Methods include special basement floor and wall sealants, an active soil depressurization system, and the installation of proper ventilation systems throughout the home or building. Specialist companies like Keystone ETS offer complete radon testing, mitigation, and remediation services, including services like adding proper sealants and advising residents on the best ventilation systems for their homes.
Call Keystone ETS for Experienced Radon Testing and Inspection
Keystone ETS is a fully insured, licensed, and certified radon testing and radon mitigation company. The company is certified by the PA-DEP (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) to perform radon testing and remediation services. For more information about radon or our services, contact us at (610) 624-6585.