There are certain elements in the Earth that cause issues with the American lung system. Pollution, which is often caused by the burning and harvesting of fossil fuels, can cause lung damage when it is inhaled. This is a significant problem in parts of the world, most notably cities in China and India where the smog is so bad people wear masks.
Pollution can be seen as a man-made problem, as years of fossil fuel use and harvesting has led to automobiles that run off fossil fuels, burn them, and cause pollution. Factories as well lead to a pollution problem, as factory farms give off numerous volumes of fog into the air, causing air pollution.
This air pollution is a difficult problem, as it gets trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing sun rays to stay within the Earth, causing the Earth to warm up. The Earth then has issues with global warming, such as the changes in the Earth’s wind currents and sea currents, as icebergs begin to melt.
Larger storms become an issue, as more dangerous waters intersect with nasty winds, leading to more deadly hurricanes that strike the United States, the Caribbean, and even parts of the United Kingdom, which should never have happened. But while all these topics seem disparate, the original point remains: Certain elements of the Earth can kill.
One of these elements is called Radon and it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that is present near the Earth’s surface. It tends to emerge in cracks that give Radon into the general vicinity, causing lung cancer.
Radon is an unstable isotrope of Uranium and is given off whenever Uranium starts to break down. Because of its long half-life, Radon will be around for billions of years, always replenishing every time a piece of Uranium breaks down. Radon is tough to detect without proper equipment.
There are certain statistics surrounding Radon in the United States.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon.
- According to the US EPA, nearly 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure.
- Scientists estimate that lung cancer deaths could be reduced by 2 to 4 percent, or about 5,000 deaths, by lowering radon levels in homes exceeding the EPA?s action level.
- The risk of lung cancer increases by 16% per 100 Bq/m increase in long time average radon concentration.
- About 1 in 15 U.S. homes is estimated to have radon levels at or above the EPA action level.
And then there’s the larger statistic that has a more visual component to it: A family whose home 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.
There are many ways to detect Radon in a home, if a person is concerned. Radon can be detected with test kits or through a company that offers residential Radon testing services. Residential Radon testing services may include an inspection of the home along with testing instruments in the lowest parts of the home.
The Radon test kits, which a company offering residential Radon testing services might also use, can be bought at the local hardware store. They are generally short term kits (2-90 days) or long term kits (90 days or longer) and are generally placed at the lowest part of the house, like the basement, and give a reading every day or so.
Residential Radon testing services may offer the same test kits, but perhaps also with a person who could explain the measures indicated by the tests and be able to explain the impact of Radon on family members, particularly children whose lungs are not fully developed.
There are other terms associated with Radon and Radon testing. They include Radon testing and inspection, Radon mitigation companies, Radon mitigation and abatement service, testing for Radon, Radon test results, and more. These companies all do a job of testing for Radon and protecting a family from Radon.