LANSING, Mich., May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the National Cancer Institute, radon is released into the air when certain elements in rocks and soil decay. It seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air that we breathe, usually in low levels, and can also dissolve into ground water and be released into the air when the water is used. Radon can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, or be released from building materials or water. The only way to detect it is with a special testing device. If necessary, a radon mitigation specialist must be called in to install a radon abatement system. SWAT Environmental installs mitigation systems to move the radon from underneath a house to the outside, bypassing the interior of the home.
Radon Gas has long been known to be the second most common cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. Studies have now revealed that it could also be associated with other cancers - including leukemia - and with brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Researchers at the University of North Dakota discovered that the levels of radioactive radon decay products - known as radon progeny - found in the brains of non-smoking persons with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease was 10 times greater than in the brains of persons that did not have the disease. As radon is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, many Americans will be anxious to know more about this radioactive gas, and how they can test for unsafe levels in their own homes and living environments.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency advises that the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 picocuries per liter, and that urgent action should be taken if a reading shows levels of 4.0 picocuries per liter, or higher. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 15 homes in the U.S has elevated levels of radon, and levels can be higher in well-insulated homes or in homes that have cracked foundations or are built on certain 'at risk' soils. With the National Cancer Institute estimating that 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. are as a result radon exposure each year, the news that other diseases could also be attributable to radon is alarming. Studies have shown that in some animals, the risk of other cancers is increased, and in studies using human cells, radon and its progeny have been shown to damage chromosomes and cause other types of cellular damage.