Radon Essay, Research Paper
Radon is earth?s only naturally produced radioactive gas. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon has no odor, no taste, and can not be seen. When it comes indoors it can become a health hazard. Radon can enter your house through cracks and openings in the foundation, floor, and walls. Radon decays and is inhaled into the lungs. The energy released can damage the DNA in lungs and can cause cancer.
I think that a law making it illegal to sell a home containing radon in the basement would be a good idea. Radon is estimated to cause thousands of cancer deaths each year in the US. On a graph I saw on the Internet there was the amounts of deaths in drunk driving, radon, drowning, fires, and air planes crashes. Radon had the second highest amount of deaths a year, right after drunk driving. The Surgeon General has a warning that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US today. The only way you can detect that you have radon coming into your house is by testing it. EPA and Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. If radon is found in your home it can be fixed.
Nearly one out of every fifteen homes in the US is estimated to have high radon levels. High radon levels have been found in every state. The levels of radon can vary widely from homes in the same neighborhood. The average person in the US gets more radiation dose from the exposure to indoor radon than from any other source of natural or man made radiation, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. Radon is classified as a Class A human cancinogen. Many underground miners have cancer or end up with cancer. This is from the close exposure to radon. The EPA action level of radon is 4pCi/L. that are belived to be the same exposure to radon as miners. The National Cancer Institute believes that 10% of lung cancer deaths in the US could be due to indoor radon exposure.
Information on radon causing cancer comes from molecular, cellular, animal, and human studies. Women (from studies) have shown to have a slightly lower risk than men. This may be because both sexes have diferent lung dosimentry. Children have shown to have a higher risk because their lungs are still growning and are not as strong in resisting smoke and radon. Because of this dangerous radon children are becoming more prone to cancer, and they can?t even prevent it at such a young age.
I believe that this law is a very good idea. Radon has made (our homes) something that is supposed to be the safest place, a place that we could be exposing ourselfs to radiation. If the law is passed, I assume insurance would pay for the inspection. If the law is not passed, then I think everyone should consider installing a radon resistant feature. These cost about $800-$2,500, which I think is a reasonable price for your life or the life of loved ones. Even if (when the law is passed) the inspectors only detect radon in one house in the city, that is one life, or one family you might have saved. I think that passing a law making it illegal to sell a home with radon in it is a good idea, and should be practiced throughout the state.