Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas produced by the decay of uranium in soil and rock. It occurs naturally in the environment and is typically found in the air and water. The average outdoor radon level is 0.4 pCi/L, but in higher concentrations of 4 pCi/L or more, exposure to it can be very dangerous. No matter if your home is in Louisville, Nicholasville, Lexington or Richmond, there is some amount of radon in your home.
The U.S. Surgeon General, World Health Organization (WHO), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) all encourage homeowners to have their air tested for radon due to the serious health risks associated with prolonged exposure. WHO advises that in homes that exhibit radon concentration levels of just 2.7 pCi/L or more, action should be taken immediately to reduce radon levels. Health risks are significantly higher in homes and buildings with radon concentration levels of 4 pCi/L or more.
Radon exposure is most strongly linked with lung cancer. In fact, over 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer every year. According to EPA, radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. This means that if you are exposed to high concentrations of radon in your home, you could be at a higher risk of developing lung cancer. This risk is especially high in children, who may be at almost twice the risk as adults. People with respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema are also particularly susceptible effects from radon exposure.
The American Lung Association has noted that many people with early stage lung cancer do not have symptoms. In those who do have symptoms, these symptoms are the most common:
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