The worst part about radon exposure is the fact that you can’t smell, taste or see it, but it can still be present in your home, office, daycare facility or school. As we honor January as Radon Awareness Month and celebrate 30 years of Radon Awareness in 2014, it’s important to recognize the dangers of radon and how to ensure the safety of yourself and others. After all, radon gas and the negative effects that are left in its path are nothing new and we can learn a few things from past situations that proven how imperative it is to keep ourselves educated.
Take Stanley Watras for example, who was an engineer at a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania in 1984. At the time, monitors were installed in the factory to ensure that the staff was not exposed to unsafe levels of radiation while at work. When the day came that Watras set off the radiation monitor, safety personnel quickly came to check out the situation but could not find where the radiation was generating from. What’s even more, the plant had been undergoing construction at the time and all nuclear material had been removed, meaning there was really no way for Watras to have been exposed in the first place.
When specialists went to investigate the Watras’ home, they measured radiation levels to be roughly 700 times higher than the maximum level that is considered safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The exposure was so high that Watras was bringing radon with him to work each day, which caused the monitoring systems to detect its presence in the plant.
This shocking discovery paved the way for awareness and different regulations in the United States but we still have a long way to go in terms of awareness. Today, radon is recognized as a Class A carcinogen and is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in humans. Nevertheless, it is only now that the long term effects of radon have started to get attention, considering the fact that smoking was discovered to be unhealthy 50 years ago and was immediately able to gain national attention.
For these reasons and more, we continue to spread awareness and urge all residential and commercial facilities to test their homes and businesses for radon every couple of years. For your long term health, schedule a radon test today!