January is National Radon Action Month. This month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advocates for Americans to test their homes for radon. While the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act does not require the testing of radon, many home buyers and lending institutions have made radon testing mandatory in the transaction of a home.
What is Radon?
While the testing of radon is an essential part of maintaining healthy breathing levels in your home, you might find yourself asking, “what is radon?”
Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally forms from the deterioration of radioactive elements found in rock and soil. Radon can seep into groundwater and into the air. While radon can be found in low levels in the atmosphere, higher levels can be found in the air of commercial and residential buildings. Central Minnesota – well-known for our abundance of granite and granite mining – has some of the highest radon levels in the country. Around our area, it is very important to know the levels of radon in your home.
What Can Radon Do to Your Health?
When this radon-laden dust is breathed into the lungs and broken down, it emits radiation that can damage cells. It comes as no surprise that according to the United States EPA estimates that over 20,000 lung-cancer related deaths a year can be attributed to radon. This means that breathing in air containing high levels of radon or consuming water with high radon levels can make your family more susceptible to lung cancer and adverse health effects.
While you may not be able to see, smell, or taste radon, it may very well be present in your home. In fact, it may also take years for you to see the manifestation of radon exposure. To ensure the safety of your loved ones, test your home annually for high radon levels.
The EPA recommends that homeowners use a state-certified radon professional for home evaluations in order to best determine and treat high radon levels in the home. Contact Opie’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning of St. Cloud to protect and secure the safety of your family.