Your home can have a problem with radon seeping from the soil or your water supply, and you may not know it. Radon can't be seen, smelled, or tasted. This allows it to seep in your home undetected and put your health at risk. Here are the ways radon might threaten your family and how to find out if your home has elevated radon levels.
Why Radon Is A Threat
Radon can lead to cancer, especially if you smoke. If you're exposed to radon over several years of living in your home, you might develop lung cancer from breathing the gas, or even stomach cancer from drinking water that has radon in it.
How Radon Gets In Your Home
Radon gas gets in your home primarily by wafting up through the soil under your house. The radon then gets trapped in your house where you breathe higher concentrations of it than you would outdoors. When radon is in your water supply, you can breathe it in every time you run the shower and create a water mist that allows the radon to escape.
Radon is a natural gas that's present just about everywhere. However, the levels of radon are higher in certain geographic areas that have more uranium underground. Radon is found in soil and water, and it can be in well water or municipal water.
However, if your municipal supply comes from a lake or other surface water, the radon has a chance to escape before it reaches your town's water supply. If your city gets water from an underground aquifer, there's a chance the water could contain radon.
How To Find Out If Your Water Has Radon
If your water comes from the city, call the water office and ask if they test for radon, and if so, ask to see the results. You could also follow this up by testing the water that comes from your faucet so you know exactly how much radon your water has, if any.
If you have well water, you should test the quality of your water at least once a year. One of the things you can test for is radon. If you've never tested your well water for radon, it's a good idea to test it and your home for the gas to find out if you're being exposed to a health hazard.
A radon water testing company can collect samples from your water and house to send to a certified lab for testing. Once you know the results, you can have peace of mind or take steps to lower your exposure. Putting a carbon filter on your water line where the water enters your house might be a solution that keeps the water in your home free of radon.