RADON DAMAGES CELL DNA
Radon breaks down into solid radioactive elements called radon progeny (such as polonium-218, polonium-214, and lead-214). Radon progeny can attach to dust and other particles in the air and can be breathed into the lungs. As radon and radon progeny in the air break down, they give off radiation that can damage the DNA inside the body’s cells.
WHERE DOES RADON COME FROM?
Radon gas given off by soil or rock can enter buildings through cracks in floors or walls; construction joints; or gaps in foundations around pipes, wires, or pumps. Radon levels are usually highest in the basement or crawl space. This level is closest to the soil or rock that is the source of the radon. Therefore, people who spend much of their time in basement rooms at home or at work have a greater risk for being exposed.
Small amounts of radon can also be released from the water supply into the air. As the radon moves from the water to air, it can be inhaled. Water that comes from deep, underground wells in rock may have higher levels of radon, whereas surface water (from lakes or rivers) usually has very low radon levels. For the most part, water does not contribute much to overall exposure to radon.
ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION
Being exposed to radon for a long period of time can lead to Lung Cancer. Radon gas in the air breaks down into tiny radioactive elements (radon progeny) that can lodge in the lining of the lungs, where they can give off radiation. This radiation can damage lung cells and eventually lead to lung cancer.
Smoking is by far the most common cause of lung cancer in the United States, but radon is the second leading cause. Scientists estimate that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year are related to radon.
Exposure to the combination of radon gas and cigarette smoke creates a greater risk for lung cancer than either factor alone. Most radon-related lung cancers develop in smokers. However, radon is also thought to cause a significant number of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers in the United States each year.
Some studies have suggested that radon exposure may be linked to other types of cancer as well, such as childhood leukemia. But the evidence for such links has been mixed and not nearly as strong as it is for lung cancer. Because radon and its progeny are absorbed mainly by inhaling, and because the radiation they give off travels only a short distance, it is unlikely that radon would affect other tissues in the body.
RADON IN CHICAGOLAND
Dangerous levels of radon have been found in tens of thousands of homes here in the Chicago Metro area, including concentrations in Dupage, Cook, and Lake County.
GET YOUR HOME TESTED FOR RADON TODAY!
Testing regularly is the best way to prevent radon gas related health problems. If you have not tested your home please do. The sooner you do it, the safer you and your family will be. If radon gas is discovered, we can help! We are a licensed radon mitigation company here in Dupage County serving Chicago & All Suburbs. We have helped thousands of homeowners achieve healthier, safer homes. Click here to find a professional radon testing company in your area. Or call us for guidance at 630.236.4200.