Do you exercise in your basement? I do. I have been using a video workout series for the past 90 days. I have to keep in top radon technician shape. While working out in my basement every morning, I can’t help but to think of radon gas while I breathe heavily. I wonder how many people who exercise in their basements are being counterproductive to their health by exposing themselves to dangerous levels of radon?
What is radon and why you should worry about it:
It’s an invisible gas that comes from the soil below the home’s foundation. It causes lung cancer because it’s radioactive. It is heavier than air so lower areas of homes and buildings are usually more affected. Basements, rooms over concrete slabs and areas over crawlspaces can have high radon levels. The more of it you breathe, combined with the concentrations of it, contribute to the risk factor. According to the EPA, radon kills more than 20,000 people per year! It is the number one lung cancer killer in non-smokers. Learn more about radon gas.
Radon, health and exercise:
I don’t know about you, but I am interested in being healthy for my future and my family. I try to eat right, sleep well and exercise often. As much as I dread those early morning pull-ups and burpees, I know they will be good for me in the long run. While down low to the ground, doing crunches or push-ups, I think about the fact that radon typically measures higher the lower you get. I think about all the other people across the country who are doing the same exercises but they may be breathing dangerous levels of radon gas! People make all of that effort to be healthy yet the chance of lung cancer may be increased. If they only knew how easy it is to make their home (or their gym) safer.
Radon testing is easy and inexpensive:
There are many test kit manufacturers across the country. These radon test kits can be long-term or short-term. They are simple devices that can measure the radon levels in your home. You simply place the sampler in the room you are testing for the allotted time and send the sample back to the laboratory for analysis. The lab will send you a detailed report explaining your radon level and what to do next. If your level is greater than 4 picocuries per liter, the EPA says you should take action to reduce radon. The EPA website, states that the level of 4 in non-smokers is equal to the risk of dying in a car crash. The world health organization takes it a step further and they say you should take action if your levels are greater than 2.7 pCi/L. DIY radon test kitsare typically less than $20 and will give you an accurate understanding of the risk in your home. There are also personal use radon monitors that you can move to different rooms around the home.
How to remove radon:
You can’t just clean it up. It doesn’t build up over time. Because it is radioactive it is constantly decaying. When you have measurable levels in your home, it is because new gas is replacing that which is decaying. So when radon is high, the way you reduce it is by installing a permanent radon mitigation system. The systems create constant vacuum in the soil under basements, concrete slabs and crawlspaces. As the gas works its way up from the ground beneath the house, it is captured by the system and vented to a safe elevation above the roofline. From there, the radon dissipates into the atmosphere. There are nationally certified radon mitigation system installers who have been trained to properly fix the problem. Most good radon contractors will provide you with a warranty that promises a solution.
REMEMBER: If you spend a lot of time in your basement, working out, watching movies, sleeping or any other activity that involves breathing, a radon test kit is about the same price as a new pair of gym socks and radon mitigation system in most homes cost approximately the same price as a treadmill. It is too easy to measure and prevent this deadly carcinogen.