What Is Radon Gas and Why It Has Become a Major Health Problem

Did you know exposure to radon gas over a prolonged period of time is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada after smoking. It is also considered to be the second leading cause of cancer in the United States. People are exposed to this gas in the homes they live in. Radon gas is colorless and has no odor. Radon gas is a silent killer.

So what is radon gas?

Radon gas is a naturally occurring by-product of the radioactive decay of the element known as uranium found in soil and rocks. This gas contains radioactive element radon which is formed as a gas, during the breakdown of radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium. Radon gas which is formed continuously, moves into the air from the uranium bearing rocks and soil. This soil is often found underneath many homes and other structures. Of course this can lead to health issues if this gas reaches unacceptable levels when entering a home or other structures where people occupy.

Where Are Unacceptable Levels Radon Gas Found?

Unacceptable levels of this radioactive gas is very common in the Canadian prairies such as southern Alberta. It is also found in the soil and rocks in many other places in Canada. These places include the southern part of Saskatchewan and many parts of British Columbia. Unacceptable levels can found in Southern Ontario, New Brunswick and northern parts of Canada such as the Yukon and North West Territories. There are also many areas of the United States that have high levels of the element of uranium and radium in their soil and rocks. Of course unacceptable levels of this gas is different between the countries of Canada and the United States. This is due to how the risk levels are determined. Canada has a higher level of acceptance.

How Does This Gas Enter Your Home?

The radioactive gas enters your home from unprotected parts of your basement. This gas can be especially bad during the winter months. During the winter months many people in northern climates, such as the Canadian prairies, leave their windows closed. This allows the radioactive elements to build up in the home as there is little air flow between the outside and inside environments.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Home From This Type of Radioactivity?

There a number things you can do to avoid the health risks caused by radon gas. Determine if your home is located over soil that contains the radioactive elements that can produce unacceptable levels this radioactive gas in your basement. Test can be done to determine this. You must also consider if the floor of your basement can shield you from the gas seeping into structure of your home.

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