Radon and our Children

In my many roles as a Radon Mitigation Professional, Radon Awareness Advocate, Blogger and Educator, my most important title is Father. From the day they are conceived to our last breath, they become our focus, our reason for everything and in my case, my greatest accomplishment! The tremendous responsibility that comes along with being a Father, a provider, a protector weighs on a heart. It was when my Wife was pregnant with our Daughter that I discovered Radon in my own home. Our home tested at 13.8 pci/L, that’s nearly 3.5 times the recommended action limit – and from that day it changed my professional focus.

So are children at a greater risk from Radon? Multiple studies from the American Cancer Society, the EPA and the National Academy of Sciences tells us this, children’s’ lung shape and size differences may matter. We know that the respiratory rate for a child can vary greatly of that of an adult. With that being said, children are ingesting air at a greater rate than an adult. Studies argue back and forth with conviction as to the answer to this question. So let’s look at what we do know.

The science behind Radon Gas is the half-life of the radioactive element and thus the decay products that evolve. Half-life is described as the time it takes for the element to disintegrate to half of its original amount. Radon’s half life is 3.82 days and because the source of radon gas can be continually supplied, elevated levels may occur in homes and buildings. As radon decays it produces alpha particles. Those alpha particles adhere to dust and as we breathe, we ingest these particles into our thin lung tissue. In healthy individuals, our bodies will slough off the particles, cells split at a normal rate, but in some cases the alpha particles can remain and it continues to form radioactive decay causing tissue damage and abnormal cells. Over time, this presents the opportunity for lung cancer to develop.

That’s a lot of heavy science stuff. Your take away should be this. Radon Gas is a real problem in many areas of the country. Here in Illinois it is our Mother Nature burden to bear and can be found in every county. Remember it all starts with a simple test. If you learn of elevated radon levels in your home contact a Radon Mitigation Contractor for assistance. This is a fixable problem, you do not need to live with elevated levels. Contact the State of Illinois’ IEMA division for a local professional near you.

Guardian Radon Mitigation & Electrical Services, LLC is a licensed and certified Radon Mitigation contractor through the State of Illinois’ IEMA Division.

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