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What is radon?
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell or taste , but it may be a problem in your . The Surgeon General has warned that is the second leading cause of in the United States today. If you smoke and your has high levels, you’re at high risk for developing . Some scientific of exposure indicate that children may be more sensitive to . This may be due to their higher respiration rate and their rapidly dividing cells, which may be more vulnerable to radiation damage.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and according to the US EPA, nearly 1 in 4 homes checked in seven states, and on three Indian lands, had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for exposure.
A family whose has radon levels of 4 pCi/L is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. (25 mrem limit, 800 mrem exposure)
An elementary student that spends 8 hours per day and 180 days per year in a classroom with 4 pCi/L of will receive nearly 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the edge of a nuclear power plant. (25 mrem limit, 200 mrem exposure)
PRODUCTION: is not produced as a commercial product. is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. It is usually found in igneous rock and soil, but in some cases, well may also be a source of.
EXPOSURE: The primary routes of potential human exposure to are inhalation and ingestion. in the ground, groundwater, or building materials enters working and living spaces and disintegrates into its decay products. Although high concentrations of in groundwater may contribute to exposure through ingestion, the inhalation of released from is usually more important.
IN THE WORKPLACE: In comparison with levels in outdoor , humans in confined spaces, particularly in underground work areas such as mines and buildings, are exposed to elevated concentrations of and its decay products. Exhalation of from ordinary rock and soils and from -rich can cause significant concentrations in tunnels, power stations, caves and public baths. The average concentrations in are generally much lower than the average concentrations in underground ore mines.
What should you look for?
Testing is the only way to know your radon level. There are no immediate symptoms that will alert you to the presence of radon. It typically takes years of exposure before any problems surface. The US EPA, Surgeon General, American Association, American Medical Association, and National Safety Council recommend testing your home for radon because testing is the only way to know your radon level.
Radon is a national environmental problem and elevated radon levels have been discovered in every state. The US EPA estimates that as many as 8 million throughout the country have elevated levels of radon. Current state surveys show that 1 in 5 has elevated radon levels.