Today we’re going to discuss a natural, but very deadly gas that all of us are exposed to on a daily basis and that the majority of the world’s population knows very little about. This natural gas is called Radon and we first would like to ask and answer a few rhetorical questions:
- Is Radon a silent killer that is destroying thousands of lives and families every year? YES.
- Is Radon the second leading cause of lung cancer among non smokers? YES.
- Is Radon being tested in our schools and homes? NO.
- Are children and elderly people more effected by this harsh and dangerous gas? YES.
- Does our modern technique of building homes, offices and schools that are more tightly sealed for energy efficiency, trap the radon gases inside? YES.
- Can you smell, see or even have the slightest hint that radon gas may be in your home and that you and your children are breathing it in with each breath? NO!
Unfortunately, these are all rhetorical questions and we could ask dozens more, but we’ll spare you of this because you’ll know the answers to these questions already. Here are the facts you need to know.
On January 13, 2005, U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona issued a health advisory warning Americans about the health risks from exposure to Radon in indoor air. This was the chief physician of the United States who clearly and definitively urged all Americans to test their homes to find out how much Radon they might be breathing. He also stressed the need to remedy this problem as soon as possible when Radon levels are 4 pCi/L or more. He stated that over 20,000 Americans (we believe this number is significantly higher) die from Radon related lung cancer every year. Let’s break that down. This equates to over 54 people dying every single day in the United States alone. So why are we not hearing about this in the media??? Why are we not taught about this in school??? Why have we not heard from our doctors the following question: “Have you had the radon levels checked in your home?”. Why are we not being told that Radon also exists in our water??? Do you know of anyone who has had their water tested for Radon? We believe this is a serious matter. We also believe that when we hear stories about people all over the country (and the world for that matter) who get lung cancer and who “have never smoked a day in their life,” may have missed this vital and crucial golden nugget of information.
Let’s make no mistake about this. We are not sharing this as nutritional theory, ideas or pontification. This is solid fact based on direct evidence “linking radon in homes to lung cancer”. This is even well documented at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website. For more information and statistics, read “The Iowa Radon Lung Cancer Study” by Dr. William Field. You can also read “Radon in Homes and Risk of Lung Cancer: Collaborative Analysis of Individual Data from 13 European Case Control Studies” by Dr. David Hill. This dangerous gas does not discriminate and has become such a devastating problem throughout the entire world that in 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that radon causes up to 15% of all lung cancers world wide. Because of this, they have launched an international radon project to help countries to increase awareness, collect data and encourage action to reduce radon-related risks.
The good news is that Radon CAN be mitigated easily, which will reduce the health risk to populations all over the world. What’s missing? Education, education, education. According to Dr. Michael Repacholi who is the coordinator of the WHO’s radiation and environmental health unit, “Radon in our homes is the main source of exposure to ionizing radiation, and accounts for 50% of public’s exposure to naturally occurring sources of radiation in many countries.”THE BELOW CHART COMPARES THE EPA’S ESTIMATES OF THE “ANNUAL RADON RELATED LUNG CANCER DEATHS TO OTHER SELECT CANCERS.” PLEASE NOTE THIS CHART IS FROM 2010, AND WE BELIEVE THAT THE RATES WERE HIGHER THEN THAN DEPICTED AND WOULD MOST CERTAINLY BE HIGHER TODAY.
WHAT CAN YOU?
So by now, you’re probably wondering what can you do to prevent or mitigate this deadly issue? This is actually pretty easy to do. Start by searching for an “In-Home Radon Test Kits” on the Internet. We purchased one from Alpha Energy Labs. These tests are very inexpensive and are DIY; if you follow the directions carefully, you will get an accurate reading in a matter of just a few days. We tested our home, which is only a little over three years old, and were extremely surprised to find out that our Radon levels were actually quite high. We did a little digging and further investigation and also found out that the community we live in, in general, has high Radon levels. This was obviously very concerning to us and we have mitigated our home and will continue to do follow-up tests in the future.
Each state has its own set of standards that it follows for Radon mitigation. There are two important associations that can guide you down the road to proper Radon testing, mitigation and more. The first is called AARST and this stands for the American Association of Radon Scientist and Technologists. This is a nonprofit, professional organization whose members are dedicated to certain standards for Radon measurement, mitigation and information. The second resource is NRPP and this stands for the National Radon Proficiency Program. This assures that members are trained properly and certified in all things pertaining to Radon measurement and mitigation. You can find a qualified radon mitigation contractor by utilizing the resources above or by simply going online to your state’s Radon information site. Many of these organizations will refer you to contractors who are certified in Radon mitigation. On average, cost to mitigate a home will range from $800 on the low side to $1,500 on the high side. Average cost to mitigate a home in the U.S. is approximately $1,200.
Below is a map of the United States that shows all regions with their “typical” Radon levels. This is only a general map and will not tell you the Radon level in your actual home; the only way to do this is through a Radon test like we listed above. This is a good map to have though as you begin to connect the dots with this very important matter and the health risks associated with it.
In closing, it is important to understand that with this specific topic and situation, knowledge truly is power. It is the power to be healthy and disease free or, not. This process is simple and there is no reason why anyone should live with a Radon question mark hanging over them, their children, or their loved one’s heads. Test your home and office for Radon ASAP and if its high, mitigate it immediately. Once mitigated, Radon is reduced and removed in just one day. If this post stimulates just one of our followers to test for and mitigate Radon, then this will be a blog well worth writing and our job done successfully. Be Well and be “All-in” with becoming a top shelf investigator for you and your family’s health!!