Once an earthquake passes, there is still a subtle, silent, and potentially devastating aftershock to be considered: radon. The University of Alaska Extension Service warns about possible radon leaks and released information on radon testing and mitigation.
Radon is extremely poisonous and can cause cell damage in the lungs. In fact, breathing the colorless, odorless gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, next to smoking.
Following an earthquake or flood, decaying uranium underground may be jostled and find a new escape route to the surface. Radon can make its way into your home through cracks, holes or any imperfections in the structure. If you recently tested your house, be sure to check again after natural disasters or changes in the landscape. Not only because of the alarming health implications, but also the presence of radon can greatly reduce the value of a home.
Short-term tests are available for quick results—taking only two to four days. Longer, more comprehensive tests take more than 90 days, but provide an accurate, year-round estimate of radon levels. Fortunately, the Cooperative Extension says all homes are fixable. Several remedies exist with varying levels of invasiveness. For some homeowners, merely filling cracks with proper sealing material will lower radon levels to an acceptable amount.
You can learn more about do-it-yourself fixes and the dangers of radon at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service website. Also, the following video from University of Alaska explains what radon is, how it gets into your home, if you are at risk for exposure, how to test for radon and what steps to take to mitigate radon if it is detected in your homeMore From: University of Alaska
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