Dear Readers, Radioactive substances are the most hazardous substances exist on the earth crust. A normal human being come in contact with these elements, only when you invade outside. Is it really true? An element like radon is a part of the air we breathe and it is very common in your homes.
Each year about 21000 people died due to radon, as it causes lung cancer. Although it is natural gas which comes from earth crust still it is very toxic and very harmful. You should be aware that how this gas can affect your health. Like carbon monoxide, you won’t be able to check or grasp the symptoms of radon poisoning right away. You should have some proper and effective knowledge so that you can easily detect it.
Every single individual is in contact with this harmful gas. There are several ways using which you can detect the level of radon radiation in your homes and after detecting the level you can use several measures to save yourself and your family.
What Is Radon?
You all know about uranium and how it affects our health? Radon is nothing but a decayed form of uranium. When uranium decays you get radium and on further break down you get a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas radon. Radon gets mixed in the air and water and if taken into large amount it can cause several serious diseases like cancer.
This harmful gas gets released from the ground and enters into your home through cracks in walls or in the foundation.
Why radon is harmful?
Radon can also affect you outside the home but outside, it presents at a very low level. Almost everyone is exposed to radon at some point. Research has been conducted in which it is observed that one in every 15homes thought to have a high level of radon. The level of radon can vary from building to building, but it is maximum in the basement area or on the first floor.
Radon is the second biggest reason behind lungs cancer after smoking. As you all are well aware that radon is a radioactive element so when it decays, many products are formed and among those, some harmful particles also emit called alpha particle. When you inhale, those particles through the air goes into your nose or mouth and then into the windpipe. And then slowly these particles damage your tissues inside your trachea and lungs.
It also proved dangerous for the children because they have comparatively smaller lungs which result in absorption of the higher dose of radon. But this fact is still unclear due to lack of evidence.
How It Exposed Human Being?
There are so many buildings like schools, offices, etc., that are built into the ground. Radon can be entered into your house in the following ways:
- Through cracks or openings in walls or floor
- Small openings in pipes or wires
- Fireplaces or furnaces
- Water drawn from wells
Usually, the maximum concentration of radon is found in the area which is nearest to the ground level. There is some building material like concrete which is also responsible for the radon radiations because these materials are obtained from natural substances. But the amount of radon gives off by these materials is extremely low. But there are so many houses where the concentration reached its highest level and prove hazardous.
This radon radiation has a severe effect on those houses which are well insulated; highly sealed or located near the areas containing a bulk amount of radioactive elements like uranium, radium, and thorium.
Symptoms of Radon Exposure
As you know that radiation emits from radon can affect the lungs cells and cause lung cancer. But the drawback is you cannot directly determine the symptoms of this radioactive element. The lung cancer symptoms starting from:
- Nagging Cough
- Shortness of breath
- Continuous wheezing
Coughing with blood or losing weight without even trying are some indicators which should be determined as soon as possible.
How You Can Measure Radon Level in Your Home?
The basic unit in which radon measured in picocuries. It has been observed that there are approx.150 radon atoms in each millimeter of air. The main advantage of radon is, although it is dense you never been able to see or smell it.
There are various tools and techniques which are used to determine the radon level in your homes. The normal value of radon should be less than 4pico/L. but if the level exceeds 4pico/L then it is an indicating danger.
How to check the radon level at home?
Radon proved very harmful for every individual, but it is a privilege that the test conducted to check the radon level in your homes is almost inexpensive. In many countries, it becomes mandatory to do the radon test before selling the property or building new spaces. If you properly used the radon detector then you will be able to eliminate 99 percent of radon from your home.
The test for measuring the radon level should be conducted with the help of professionals and with proper instructions. The testing can either be short term or long term. Short term is for just 2-3 days while others measure up to 90days.
While using the radon detectors or testing devices you have to keep your windows and doors closed ass much as possible and avoid fans that bring air from outside. The devices used as detector are as follows:
- Alpha-track detector
- Charcoal canisters
- Charcoal liquid scintillation detector
- Electret ion chamber
- Continuous monitors
All these detectors absorb the radon gas and help to identify the radon level. Alpha track and electret ion chamber detector usually used for long term testing. The most highlighted advantage of these detectors is, they are fairly expensive and simple to use.
It is important to follow the instructions given on the detectors. You can easily find these detectors on hardware stores. You should place these detectors in the basement or at the lowest level of the home. Before stalling these detectors, you should decide the place. After installing these detectors for a period of time you should pack it as instructed and send back for analysis and then you get the result within a few weeks.
Another solution is digital radon detector which gives you short and long term that you can see at all times on the device screen on your phone, through its free mobile app.
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