Test buildings yearly to detect stealthy killer gas

Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally from decaying uranium underneath the earth’s surface. Though you cannot see, smell, or taste radon, it is there and has been noted as the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon gas rises through the soil and seeps through cracks, holes and drain pipes in the foundation or basement of your home or office. Radon gas can be found all over the country, and according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, one out of every 15 homes nationwide has high levels of radon gas.

Symptoms of radon gas poisoning are not as immediately apparent. Other odorless poisons like carbon monoxide are more immediate, whereas radon is a longer-term poison. That’s why it’s important to have your homes tested one to two times per year, as radon levels can vary from season to season.

You can get a radon test kit at your local home improvement store. Homeowners can perform the test themselves, and then you simply mail in the samples to receive the results.

Correcting high radon levels is actually very simple and can be done by your local radon mitigation contractor. But it’s finding the problem in time that’s the hard part.

Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a WJBK-TV Fox2 Detroit news contributor and president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.