The radioactive noble gas radon-222 poses a health risk especially in closed rooms, flats and houses. But how does radon get into buildings in the first place and why is it so dangerous there? Here you will find answers to these questions and, moreover, a solution for targeted reduction of the health risk.
Radon is everywhere in the soil
Radon is formed during the radioactive decay of uranium and is therefore a naturally occurring noble gas in the soil. It is unevenly distributed throughout the world. The BfS soil air map gives an impression: the darker the colouring, the higher the radon activity concentration in the soil air. In general, radon exposure is elevated in former mining and/or mountainous regions. Large uranium deposits or porous rock undergrounds can also be indications of an extraordinary radon load. Outdoors, the radioactive noble gas mixes with the ambient air and does not pose any health risks to humans.
Radon damages the lungs
It is different when radon accumulates in closed indoor spaces. Through the incorporation of high radon concentrations via the respiratory tract, heavy metals such as lead and polonium enter the lungs and cause chronic irradiation of the tissue. High radon exposure over a long period of time can increase the risk of lung cancer.
Why is radon becoming dangerous for humans now of all times?
The way of life of modern humans contributes significantly to the increase in radon exposure. We spend most of our daily lives indoors. Many have even shifted their sports activities to the gym or sports halls. Due to corona and the associated lockdown measures, we spend even less time outside buildings.
Radon in buildings
Radon has a variety of pathways into a home. Since radon penetrates upwards from the ground, most radon entry pathways into a building are found in the basement:
Radon spreads to upper floors via stairwells, cable ducts and leaky false ceilings due to the so-called chimney effect.
Renovated old buildings are radon traps
Insulated windows, insulated roofs and freshly plastered facades are the serious reasons why radon levels can be particularly high in old and existing buildings that have been renovated to make them more energy-efficient. While structural renovation measures usually focus on reducing energy consumption and saving heating costs, the basement area in contact with the ground is usually neglected and remains unchanged. Radon continues to penetrate the building unhindered underground, but can no longer escape above ground from the building, which is insulated all around. Ventilation reduces radon exposure in the short term, but in some cases, especially during the heating season, it is no longer sufficient.
A radon measurement is the first step
With our radon consultant for radon measurements, we are at your side with advice and measuring instruments so that you can quickly gain a concrete overview of the possible radon contamination in your building. Stop by and take the first step towards a radon safe home.