Radon is a common household hazard that is often overlooked. While it is fairly harmless in low amounts, high concentrations are associated with an increased risk of cancer. It’s important to be aware of the hazard, know how it can be detected and what can be done to mitigate it. Find out those answers and whether air purifiers can contribute to mitigating radon in this article!

What is radon?

Radon is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that is produced as natural radioactive elements in the soil decay. Being an inert element of the periodic table, radon always remain mono-atomic and does not chemically bond or react with any element. Radon is generally harmless when dispersed into the air outside, but it can easily accumulate indoors and reach dangerous levels.

The air pressure inside buildings is generally lower than in the surrounding soil. The difference in pressure draws air and other gases into the building. Radon can enter easily through cracks in the foundation and other openings where the building is in contact with the ground.

Health risks associated with radon

After smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Canada and the United States. When radon gas is inhaled, the radioactive elements continue to break down inside the lungs, releasing small bursts of energy that damage the lung cells and can lead to cancer as they reproduce.

The risk of cancer depends on the level and duration of radon exposure. Smoking in conjunction with radon exposure is linked to a much higher risk of lung cancer.

Do air purifiers help with radon?

When it comes to trapping ambient gases, not all air purifiers are created equal. Those equipped with HEPA filters are designed to mechanically trap particles such as dust, pet dander and mold. The best air purifiers for smells, VOCs and gases are those equipped with activated carbon filters, which chemically attract the molecules, and UV light air purifiers, which degrade them.

Because Radon is chemically inert, no air purifiers can help mitigate it.

Radon mitigation measures

Testing for radon

The first vital step is to test the air quality in your home to determine the levels of radon present. This can be done either by a professional or with the help of a DIY home test kit. When testing yourself, it’s best to do so over a longer period of time (3 months or so), because radon levels can fluctuate according to several factors, including the time of year.

If your test detects radon levels above the Canadian guidelines, steps should be taken to reduce them. The higher the concentration of radon, the sooner you’ll need to act.

Professional radon mitigation

The gold standard for dealing with a radon problem is to hire a professional, particularly when faced with high levels of the gas. A professional radon mitigation system can be installed in under a day and will reduce radon levels by up to 90%.

Increasing home ventilation

Increasing ventilation in the home can lower radon levels by 25 to 50%. That being said, the effectiveness of this strategy has its limits. Therefore, it should only be used as a complementary measure or in situations where the required reduction in radon levels is minimal.

Sealing cracks in the foundation

Since radon comes from the ground and generally seeps through cracks and holes in the foundation, sealing these entry points can help stop the gas from entering your home in the first place. Sealing cracks can also prevent other problems such as water infiltration and pest incursions. However, this method can only reduce radon levels by about 13%.

Breathe cleaner air with Sanuvox

While air purifiers aren’t effective against radon, they can improve the air quality in your home in many ways. The right air purifier can cleanse the air you breathe of particles like pollen and dust, harmful chemicals and microorganisms, improving your health and quality of life.

Sanuvox provides first-rate UV air purifiers for residential use. Whether you’re looking for an air purifier for your whole house or a portable model, we have excellent options for you to discover. Contact us today!

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