Tag Archives: radioactive gas

Radon and Cancer: What Iowa Residents Need to Know

Dangers of Radon Exposure in Iowa Homes

By now, many people are aware that there is a strong link between radon exposure and cancer. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, affecting more than 15,000 people each year. If you live in Iowa, your chances of dying from radon exposure are high – every year, around 400 Iowans die due to radon exposure.

First, a breakdown. What exactly is radon? Radon is a radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It is released during the decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium. This decay is a process that occurs in rocks and soil. Once the gas has been released, it makes its way through the ground and distributes into the air above. Radon is present nearly everywhere – everyone breathes in radon on a daily basis, although the amount is generally not large enough to be of concern.

When radon is present in large concentrations within a home, that is when the trouble starts to develop. There are many ways that radon can enter your home:

  • Dangers of Radon Exposure and Cancer Risks in IowaFloor Cracks
  • Foundation Cracks
  • Use of Well Water
  • Wall Cracks
  • Building Materials

Radon can seep through cracks in your home and may be released through well water or building materials as well. If your home is well-insulated and sealed off, there is a more of a chance that the radon levels in your home will be higher than average.

Radon Connected to Cancer in Iowa Residents

Any concentration of radon above 4pCi/L is considered dangerous. Prolonged exposure to such levels of radon could result in the development of lung cancer. Scientists began to notice the effects of radon during a study done on underground uranium miners, who were dying of lung cancer at above average rates. Further studies showed that rodents who were exposed to high levels of radon were more prone to develop lung tumors. More studies were done later comparing the radon levels in the homes of those who had lung cancer and those who did not. The research showed that higher radon levels produced a higher risk of lung cancer.

Radon Levels and Cancer Risk in Iowa HomesRadon causes cancer by decaying quickly, giving off small radioactive particles in the process. These radioactive particles damage the lining cells in the lung when they are inhaled. If a person is exposed to radon long-term, this damage may eventually result in lung cancer. Although there have been speculations of an increased risk of leukemia due to radon exposure, lung cancer is the only cancer proven to be linked directly to radon.

The only way to tell if there are elevated radon levels in your home is by testing. That is why it is important to have your home tested for radon as soon as possible. Ameriserv Radon Mitigation can help you find out if there is a radon problem in your home with our numerous radon testing methods. We will also help you take care of elevated radon levels with our radon mitigation services. Contact us today to see our Iowa service area and to get more information. Learn more about radon here.

What Are Dangerous Radon Levels

Dangerous Radon Levels in Iowa

Iowa Radon Levels

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when radium decays and it is also colorless, and odorless.  This gas can be very harmful and even deadly, but sadly it’s most common in the home. Radon can be found anywhere, and by anywhere I mean it is found all over the United States. It’s a natural gas that diffuses through the air harmlessly, and naturally. Radon is the second leading cause to lung cancer following cigarette smoke. This dangerous gas can come through a home from many different spots starting from crawl spaces to sump pumps. It’s said that the best way of controlling radon levels in the home is to have an Iowa radon mitigation unit installed. This unit will remove radon by ventilating it out. The Radon Act 51, which was passed by congress, set the natural outside level of radon gas (0.4pCi/L) as the target level for indoor radon levels. This level is still dangerous, but any level above this would cause a lot more problems and health risks than the lowest level. Radon levels increase as temperatures decrease, so during the winter, radon is most dangerous.  When it gets cold outside, the ground freezes, and there might even be a layer of snow on the ground. When the ground freezes, the radon is trapped in the soil beneath our home, and since the radon won’t be able to escape out of the ground, your house may suck up some of that gas to a higher concentration.

Radon Levels in Iowa Homes

The EPA believes that radon at any level is risky although as stated above, the 0.4 pCi/L, would be considered an acceptable level. Radon gas isn’t picky about its victims. It doesn’t matter about your weight, sex, race, or age. BUT it may be more prominent in the young, and the very old. Same with the weakened immune systems. So be sure to take all the necessary steps to eliminate radon out of your household, for a safe living and healthy living. Iowa is known for having double the radon levels of what is considered acceptable by the EPA. So radon testing and Iowa radon mitigation is more important than ever. For all your Iowa radon levels concerns, call Ameriserv Radon Mitigation Iowa. We perform radon testing, radon mitigation and even install air purifiers.