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Children and Pets: Increased Risk for Radon

January is Radon Action Month, so we are continuing the discussion of the radioactive gas radon. Radon is a concern because of the devastating health effects it can have on our families. Any amount of exposure to radon is unhealthy, but the higher the amount–the more harmful it is. We weigh the risks and consider the odds before making decisions about radon in our homes, but have you ever considered that your children and your pets are getting even higher doses of radiation than you are?

Radon seeps into our homes from the soil below and surrounding the foundation. It can diffuse through solid concrete, however, cracks in the floor and walls, gaps around pipes, and sump pump pits give radon easy access to our homes. Testing for radon is done in the lowest livable space of the home whether that be the basement or the main level for slab-on-grade construction. Rooms above crawl spaces should be tested as well because they can be even higher than the basement. Testing protocol dictates the testing device be a minimum distance off the floor to sample the breathable air–that is the air at head height you would breathe. However, due to the fact that radon is slightly more dense than air, this means that the radon concentration will actually be greater the closer you get to the floor. Small children, dogs, cats, etc. are all exposed to this higher concentration of radon simply due to their shorter stature. This increased exposure greatly skews the statistics meaning that radon is likely even more dangerous than we know for the little ones in our lives.

Thankfully radon is a solvable problem. You can reduce your family’s risk by testing your home and installing a mitigation system if required. Contact a local radon testing specialist today so you, too, can Know Your Number.