Dangers of Radon Poisoning in the US

Like carbon monoxide poisoning, radon poisoning is a silent killer; a gradual increase in radon levels tends to go unnoticed by most people and may lead to deadly consequences. And the fact that radon poisoning is not as widely recognized as other indoor hazards such as asbestos makes it even more dangerous for the ill-informed.

Radon is a product of a soil’s decay in uranium. Polonium is the byproduct of this decaying chemical reaction, releasing the gas which contributes to radon’s toxicity. The translucent nature of the gas makes radon hard to detect with the naked eye. Radon also does not give off a smell, which makes it all the more dangerous as people could live in houses with extreme levels of radon without noticing it at all. But despite the very ‘stealthy’ nature of the gas, Radon is relatively easy to detect with the right mitigation tools.

When people say ‘lung cancer’, one would automatically assume that someone who suffers from lung cancer must have been a heavy smoker. And while it is true that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, radon comes in at a close second. And, in some ways, radon exposure is potentially worse than smoking due to the fact that it also affects non-smokers (which makes it the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers). Over twenty thousand deaths linked to Radon poisoning has been recorded in the United States by the EPA, with about fifteen percent of all lung cancer patients suffering due to radon poisoning.

Radon is a carcinogen. High amounts of radon is undoubtedly dangerous, but low levels of radon poisoning can still lead to lung cancer if exposed over a long period of time. Which is why it is always wise to have someone check your home for radon levels and perform tests to ensure the radon levels are at its lowest.

In Wisconsin, over 57% of Milwaukee is affected by radon levels higher than 2 pCi/L, which is higher than the national average of 1.3 pCi/L according to reports by Air Chek, Inc. A Wisconsin radon mitigation cost can be affordable, and it’s often worth getting your home checked especially if your state has radon levels higher than the national average.

Of course, 2 pCi/L is not as high as 4 pCi/L, which is considered a level where immediate action is required to lower those high radon levels, but as mentioned before even low levels of radon is dangerous if left unchecked for years. It is important to note that those levels do fluctuate over the years, so you do not want to run the risk of being exposed to higher radon levels.

So rather than gamble with your lungs, it is best to have an expert assess the radon levels of your house and devise strategies to keep those numbers as low as possible.