Second only to smoking for the cause of lung cancer in America, radon is an odorless, invisible, tasteless, radioactive gas that emanates naturally from soils and rocks. It mainly enters homes and other indoor air spaces of buildings through cracks and holes in the basement or crawl space. All rocks contain some uranium and it decays to form radium-226, which is the immediate parent of radon. The main source of indoor radon is the uranium content in the soils around and below the house. Higher the concentration of uranium, higher the chance of radon entering the house. Although minimal, other sources of radon can be traced in the water supplies and the ground water.
The primary exposure to radon is the inhalation of the radioactive gas. Its’ most notable health effect is the lung cancer. The likelihood of getting lung cancer is directly related to the amount of exposure to radon. There are studies that show radon’s connection to leukemia, but the chances are very scarce. Children are more vulnerable to radon than adults because they breathe faster and take in more air. Wisconsin has the highest levels of radon but it is still found around the world since every rock has uranium to some level. There are many readily available test kits for radon so test for radon with even the slightest worry for exposure.
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