As we experience a warmer climate, greater amounts of radon gas is able to filter up though the ground, entering buildings and becoming a major health risk.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which may be found in high concentrations in indoor environments, such as homes and workplaces.
Radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer.
Radon is estimated to cause between 3% to 14% of all lung cancers in a country, depending on the national average radon level.
Lung cancer risk is higher for smokers due to synergistic effects of radon and cigarette smoking.
Radon concentration indoors can can be detected by BMT as we use advanced meters.
BMT use well-tested, durable and cost-efficient methods for preventing radon entry into new and existing buildings.
When Radon is detected we can design and install a system to eradicate the problem.
Radon is a radioactive gas that has no smell, colour or taste. Radon is produced from the natural radioactive decay of uranium, which is found in all rocks and soils. Radon can also be found in water.
Radon escapes from the ground into the air, where it decays and produces further radioactive particles. As we breathe, these particles are deposited on the cells lining the airways, where they can damage DNA and potentially cause lung cancer.
Outdoors, radon quickly dilutes to very low concentrations and is generally not a problem. The average outdoor radon level (1) varies from 5 Bq/m3 to 15 Bq/m3. However, radon concentrations are higher indoors and in areas with minimal ventilation. The highest levels are found in places like under builds, basements, crawl spaces and water treatment facilities. In buildings such as homes, schools, offices, radon levels can vary substantially from 10 Bq/m3 to more than 10 000 Bq/m3. Given the properties of radon, occupants of such buildings could unknowingly be living or working in very high radon levels.
Radon and cancer
As radon forms naturally by radioactive decay inside minerals, part of it escapes into the atmosphere and indoor air, where it becomes a potential hazard to the occupants, exposed mainly through inhalation (Joint Research Centre, 2019). Radon and its decay products are known carcinogens, causing, or contributing to, lung cancer, a risk enhanced by exposure to air pollution and smoking. Although cancer risks from radon are limited to exposure to relatively high and sustained indoor concentrations, radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer (Ruano-Ravina et al., 2017). 1.2-1.9% of all cancer cases, and 1 in 10 lung cancer cases in Europe may be due to indoor radon exposure (Darby et al., 2005; Brown et al., 2018; IARC, 2018; Couespel and Price, 2020). According to Global Burden of Disease study data, around 19,000 lung cancer deaths in Europe in 2019 may have been due to naturally occurring indoor residential radon (Murray et al., 2020). The risk of lung cancer increases in non-smokers by about 11-16% for exposure to every additional 100Bq/m3 (a measure of exposure to radiation) increase in long-term average indoor radon concentration (Ruano-Ravina et al., 2017; WHO, 2021b). While the association of radon with other types of cancer has been studied, the evidence is still inconclusive.
Although radon comes from natural sources, exposure can be reduced in existing and new buildings, and radon prevention should be considered at the design stage in radon-prone areas. WHO (2021b) lists technical solutions that can significantly reduce radon levels in existing buildings, such as installing a radon sump system, preventing radon passing from the basement into living spaces, sealing floors and walls, and installing special forced ventilation units.
The situation has been made worst by the warming of the climate by allowing easier gas filtration through the drying ground.
Over the last decade, we have noted much higher radioactive meter reading in most homes we serviced. So common were the properties with high readings, its fair to say every home owner should arrange for a radioactive survey test on their property and if you live on the Costa del sol, the survey is free.
Possible symptoms include shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), a new or worsening cough, pain or tightness in the chest, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing.
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