What is radon gas?
Radon Gas is a colorless, radioactive gas that seeps up from the earth. When inhaled, it gives off radioactive particles that can damage the cells that line the lung. Radon is produced from the natural decay of uranium that is found in the soil. Uranium breaks down into radium. As radium disintegrates it turns into radioactive gas. As a gas, radon moves up through the soil and into the air you breathe.
How dangerous is radon gas?
Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer (after tobacco) in smokers. Radon exists in every state in the US. In Minnesota, 2 in 5 homes have radon levels that pose a significant health risk, and nearly 80% of the counties are rated as high radon zones.
How does radon gas enter your home?
Two components affect how much radon will accumulate in your home: pathways and air pressure.
Pathways are routes the gas uses to enter your home and found anywhere there is an opening between the home and soil. Pathways include cracks, mortar joints, loose pipe penetrations, building materials, etc…
Air pressure between your home’s interior and the exterior soil is what helps to draw radon gas into your home via the pathways. Minnesota homes commonly are under a negative air pressure, especially in the heating seasoning. Typically the air pressure inside your home is lower that the surrounding soil, thus creating a vacuum that pulls soil gases into the home via the pathways.
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