Radon gas causes quite a few deaths each year. In fact, it is the second cause of lung cancer in the United States, only cigarette smoking causes more incidents of lung cancer and sadly North Alabama / Huntsville is a high risk area.
Radon gas originates from the breakdown of uranium in land formations, the soil and water and becomes airborne so people who are in the vicinity of radon breathe it. The gas can wend its way into any sort of building. Schools, homes, factories, and offices it doesn’t matter; it will harm people who spend lots of time in an infested building, like your Huntsville home.
Radon Gas Detectors
The only way to determine where radon is, or is not, is to do testing to see if it is present A very simple and inexpensive test is available to do just that, and can be done before you purchase your home. It is important to have a home inspection before buying a home anyway, and a test for radon should most definitely be a part of that process.
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If a home tests positive it is still not the end of the world. A radon reduction system can be purchased and installed in the home. Newer homes in areas known for radon frequency are often times built with radon reduction systems already built in.
Radon Gas Dangers
Since radon is radioactive and it is a gas, it is dangerous. If people breathe it over a period of time it can cause lung cancer. As mentioned, it is derived from decaying uranium that is found in nearly all soils. The radon will move from the ground going through any cracks and crevices in the foundation. The radon is trapped inside by the home and the family is exposed to the gas.
The major cause of problems from radon is radon gas that comes up through the soil. Sometimes the problem comes up from the well water. Higher than normal radon levels are present in 1 out of every 15 houses in the United States. Schools can also be a repository for radon and a community should find out if schools are contaminated by testing to find out if the radon gas is present.
A qualified radon tester can be hired to perform the testing, or various types of testing kits are available at most hardware stores.
There is more interest in discovering if houses are in the radon danger zone. It is a good idea to plan ahead. If a homeowner wants to test for radon results, and then install a radon reduction unit, then he will not only be protecting himself and his family, but he will be taking steps toward making it easier to sell his house in the future, should he decide to do so.
Many home buyers now want testing to be done by independent third parties for obvious reasons. The state radon officer can suggest qualified testers for that purpose.
It is always a good idea to be prepared for all contingencies with radon, since there is no known safe level. If you test and find that it is not present, then you are ahead. If you test and find that radon is present, you can install a radon reduction unit. In any event it is better to be safe than sorry.