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Are You Exposed to Radon?

March 18, 2014

Though you cannot see, smell or taste radon, it may be present at dangerous levels in your home. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rocks and water. Since the air pressure in a typical home is lower than the pressure in the soil around the foundation, the home acts like a vacuum and draws radon in through cracks in the foundation. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, causing more than 1,100 lung cancer deaths in the United Kingdom every year.

Radon may also be present in your water source and can be released into the air when water is used for general household purposes, such as showering; you can also be exposed by drinking it. Testing for radon is the only way to determine whether your water and indoor air are contaminated.

Radon gas levels can vary by day, season and geographic area. The radon levels in your home can even be different from those in your next-door neighbour’s home. Therefore, all potential homebuyers, current homeowners and home sellers should have their homes tested for radon.

To test a home for radon, you can order a kit by post from a qualified radon measurement service provider, purchase a radon kit from a local hardware shop or hire a qualified radon tester.

If a radon test reveals that your home’s radon level is dangerous, you can install a radon mitigation system such as specialist air management and radon sump systems. A qualified radon reduction contractor can typically install a system in less than one day.

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