There is one way to reduce your risk of lung cancer that you probably don't even know about.
Indoor radon levels can significantly increase your odds of getting lung cancer.
Testing your home for radon can help protect you and your family from a critical cause of lung cancer.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to radon in homes accounts for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
That's not even close to the 480,000 deaths a year caused by smoking, but it's still a significant amount of casualties.
And radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in people who don't smoke.
So, if you find out you've been exposed to radon in your home over a long period of time, should you rush to see your doctor?
Take a closer look in the article below.
Radon is clearly a dangerous threat to your life in high doses. However, is it ever safe or even beneficial to your health? Find out by reading our blog post: Can Radon Be Good for You?
Table Of Contents
- What's Radon?
- Testing For Radon In Your Home
- Should I Go To The Doctor If My House Has Elevated Levels Of Radon?
- Removing The Radon From Your Home
- Radon Eliminator
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, and invisible naturally occurring radioactive gas found in the soil beneath our homes.
Radon is produced when uranium, thorium, and radium break down in soil, rock, and water.
It's then released into the air, which is the primary source of radon exposure.
Radon can also enter your home through your water supply, but this poses a much lower risk than when it's in the air.
Once in the air, it can get into homes through gaps in foundations, crawl spaces, cracks in floors, cracks in walls, and construction joints.
Radon can accumulate in some places where ventilation is inadequate.
Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can be dangerous to your health.
The radioactive elements from radon can get stuck in your lungs and eventually cause lung cancer.
Testing For Radon In Your Home
Since radon gas can't be seen or smelled, the only way to know if your home has elevated levels is to test for it.
Most people choose to hire a professional radon testing and mitigation company, but you can do it yourself with a radon testing kit you buy at a hardware store or online.
If you choose to do it yourself, you will leave the kit in your house for the required number of days and then mail it to a lab and wait for the results.
If your home's radon levels are elevated, you can take steps to lower them.
The cost of reducing radon in your home can vary widely, depending on how your home is built (whether you have a basement, crawlspace, or neither), where you are located, and what kind of system you need.
Should I Go To The Doctor If My House Has Elevated Levels Of Radon?
So you've just had your home tested for radon, and it has elevated levels of 4 pCi/L or more.
Knowing increased radon exposure can result in lung cancer, you immediately start worrying.
And since radon poisoning doesn't have acute or subacute health effects, irritating effects, or warning signs, there is no way to know if you have radon poisoning.
Currently, there are no standard medical tests that determine if you have incurred damage to your lung tissue that might increase your risk of lung cancer.
And while you can't test for radon poisoning, some people will undergo lung cancer screening.
That's why it never hurts to visit your doctor.
If your doctor deems it necessary, they can perform a few tests to screen for lung cancer.
A physical examination of patients with potential exposure to increased radon levels will focus on signs and symptoms of the respiratory system.
Your physical exam won't provide radon-specific information, but it can assess symptoms of lung cancer specific to radon exposure.
It's clinically reasonable to proceed with these tests since radon is a significant environmental cause of lung cancer deaths and lung disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer's clinical presentation may vary, and some patients may be asymptomatic.
About 25% of people with lung cancer do not have advanced cancer symptoms when their lung cancer is detected.
If symptoms of radon-related lung cancer are present, they include:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent cough
- Chest pain
You may also experience repeated bouts of pneumonia, changes in the shape of your fingertips, and swollen or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) in the upper chest and lower neck.
Even if you aren't sure if you've been exposed to radon, regular health checkups are essential to detect the signs of lung cancer.
Removing The Radon From Your Home
If elevated radon levels have been found, you want to do all you can to reduce your risk of radon-related lung cancer.
You should hire a professional radon mitigation contractor to help you reduce the levels.
Sometimes, if your radon levels are reasonably close to the guideline of 4 picocuries per liter (4 pCi/l), caulking and sealing radon entry points may be enough to bring the radon down to acceptable levels.
But it's still a good idea to speak to qualified contractors because caulking and sealing cracks doesn't always reduce your levels, and it isn't a long-term solution to a dangerous radon problem.
A professional radon contractor will install a radon mitigation system to reduce your levels below four pCi/l.
Your radon mitigation system uses a vent pipe and fans to remove radon vapors from under your foundation and exhaust them outside above your roof.
Radon is part of the environment and generally isn't harmful outdoors.
But long-term exposure to high levels of radon increases your risk for lung cancer, especially if you're a smoker.
The team at Radon Eliminator in Ohio understands that radon exposure to radon comes with severe health risks.
If you're worried your home might have elevated radon levels, or you're worried you have symptoms of radon poisoning, you should have your home tested immediately.
Radon mitigation systems have proven to work effectively if elevated levels are found.
No level of radon exposure is safe, so contact a professional radon company to have your home tested as soon as you can.
Radon Eliminator can test your home, and if your radon levels come back high, we can install a professional radon reduction system to lower the radon levels in your home.
Click the button below for a discounted test to take action and get started with Radon Eliminator.