Illustration of the risk of radon gas accumulation in a house

How do high levels of radon affect your health?

You may have heard of radon, but not really understood what it is or how it can affect your family.

Radon is simply a radioactive noble gas. It is quite dense and has no taste or smell. When elements like uranium and thorium decay, they create radon gas as a by-product.

Focus on the decay of radon gas

When the radon gas itself starts to decay, radioactive elements called "radon daughters" start to appear. These daughters are not gaseous, but tiny solid particles. They can cling to dust in the air and move into your lungs when you breathe. Then they can stick to the walls of your airways, causing various health problems.

Buildings can fill up with radon gas, which is emitted naturally from the soil and rock beneath the foundation. Poorly ventilated rooms, of course, fill up with radon more quickly, but any building can be vulnerable to radon contamination. Basements are often the most common place to find high levels of radon.

The consequences of radon gas on our health

Inhaling high levels of radon has been directly linked to lung cancer. Apart from cigarettes, radon is the most common cause of lung cancer. Many of the people who die from it have never smoked a cigarette in their lives, making radon the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Detecting high levels of radon in your home

ATMO Grand Est | ATMO Grand Est explains radon

Radon levels cannot be detected by your senses as it is odourless and colourless. However, there are other ways of measuring radon levels. For example, you can buy radon test kits (from Radonova) for personal use or install a radon detector in your home.

High levels of radon are a threat that you should take very seriously. That said, testing your home for radon is affordable and easy. If your home contains radon levels above what is considered safe for human exposure, removing it could potentially save your life.