Radon gas is a chemical substance described as odorless, tasteless, and colorless. It is a byproduct of decaying uranium or thorium, radioactive gases found in various laboratories and sites. Radon emits gases containing solid radioactive particles which are highly toxic and deadly for anyone who has direct contact with it.
Health Effects of Radon Gas
Radon gases or “radon daughters” are one of the many toxic substances which increase the chances of having lung cancer. Since radon daughters are solid micro particles, they can attach itself easily to any objects such as the tiny dusts in indoor air. When a person inhales the particles, a large percentage of it will be deposited in the lungs and emit alpha particles which are absorbed by the lung tissue. Since the rays cannot pass through the tissue, the damage is concentrated on the surface and though to be minimal in a lot of cases.
However minimal the effects are, the threat of having lung cancer should not be taken for granted. Learn how radon gases enter buildings and houses to decrease your chances of having the said disease.
How Does Radon Enter Buildings?
The most common source of indoor radon is the soil. The presence of uranium in the soil commonly indicates that radon gases are also present in the area. Since radon is a gas, it can find its way to any closed space through cracks, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors, or gaps around pipes. The concentration of radon gas is relative to the amount of radium in the soil and how it easily mixes with the air inside a building.
The atmospheric pressure in an enclosed space slows down radon particles. However, it can definitely have the same pace as with open spaces if cracks and gaps are present. One thing about radon gases is that it does not easily escape an enclosed space and immediately sealing the cracks without getting rid of the radon gas first will just make the problem worse. Radon levels are particularly high in places such as cellars and basements where ventilation is poor.
If you suspect your vicinity to be radon-infested, measuring radon level can be done by air sampling provided by different private laboratories. Alpha dosimetry is also a way of detecting radon levels at home. Radon levels can vary greatly every day, so having a long term sampling would be more accurate.
Renovate Your Buildings to Decrease Radon Levels
There are only two ways on how to save your space from radon gases:
1. Reduce emissions from the ground; or
2. Increase the ventilation of basements and cellars.
Increasing ventilation and improving your building’s structure will most likely reduce radon levels in your house. Sealing cracks and holes in basement floors would also be necessary. After sealing the cracks, it would be better to coat them with 2 to 3 layers of paint to fully seal the pores. If high radon content is depicted in the area, soil re-filling may be done to cover the affected layer.
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