What is this “radon” thing?

Radon is a gas. It comes from radium in certain soils, limestone or other rock in the ground where a specific house is built. The gas enters a building through tiny gaps in concrete slabs, basement walls or dirt crawl space floors. Radium is very common in Roanoke and SW Virginia. See “Radon Risk Maps“.

Why in houses?

The radon concern with houses is that we live in a closed environment much of the year. This odorless and colorless gas comes into the closed house through the floor and can’t get out, so it builds up. The more efficient the sealed windows and doors, the more it gets trapped inside.

Common Misunderstandings

It is false that radon can only be found in houses with a basement. This gas comes up through concrete slabs easily. It is false that a crawl space eliminates any problem. Radon gas rises, so whatever is below will come up into the house eventually. Radon is not a hoax. It is radiation that’s as detectable and measurable as it is in other forms.

Notice for smokers

Radiation that we breath is obviously most directly a threat to lung tissue. Smokers have irritated lung tissue already which leaves them many more times vulnerable to radon’s health effects than non-smokers.

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