If you are like most other people in Bellevue, WA, you think of your home as a safe haven, the place you go to relax and forget about work, school, and other outside stressors. Unfortunately, there may be a hidden danger lurking in protective confines of homes in Western Washington. That hidden danger may be your home’s indoor air quality. Most people aren’t very familiar with radon, yet much like other well-known pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, radon can pose a significant and very real threat to your health and well-being.
What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring chemically unreactive gas. It naturally occurs when the uranium in rock and soil breaks down. As the uranium decays and breaks down, radon gas is formed and released into the air and water. When radon is released into the outdoor air, it is diluted and not much of a concern; however, in enclosed spaces, such as your home, the home radon levels can often accumulate to high levels, which can become a serious risk to the health of you and your family.
How Are You Exposed to Radon?
Radon is a gas, which means like other gases, it can and does travel freely. Radon is found in every country around the world and high levels of radon have been measured throughout the United States. Radon enters homes in Western Washington through cracks in the floors, walls and/or foundations, which causes it to collect indoors. It can be found more commonly in areas such as basements, crawlspaces, and attics. Radon can also be found in the water, mainly well water. The primary routes of human exposure to radon are through inhalation and ingestion. Although a high concentration of radon in the groundwater may contribute to exposure through ingestion, inhalation of radon is often more concerning. If your home is well-insulated and well-constructed, the home radon levels may be significantly higher.
How Is Radon Harmful to Your Health?
Like uranium, radon gives off tiny radioactive particles. Although, low levels of radon in the air that you breathe are normal, when high levels of radon in your Bellevue home are inhaled, damage to the cells that line your lungs can occur. When there are high levels of radon trapped in your home for a long period of time, simply breathing in your home may result in you and/or your family developing lung cancer. In fact, exposure to radon is the number 2 cause of lung cancer next to smoking. Some research has shown that children who are exposed to high levels of radon may have a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
If you are like most homeowners, you take all of the necessary precautions to ensure the indoor air quality of your Bellevue, WA home is safe. Your home maintenance routine may include having the air ducts cleaned, ensuring there is no mold in your home and installing a carbon monoxide detector, but it is also critical that you have your home’s radon levels tested. The first step in ensuring your home and family is safe from radon is testing. There are two options for testing your home for radon; purchasing a do-it-yourself radon test kit or hire a professional. In most situations, hiring a professional who is experienced and knowledgeable in radon and radon testing is the best option.
Homeowners in Bellevue, WA and the surrounding area should contact MM Comfort Systems today to learn more information about radon testing and how to remedy the problem.