Winter means battening down the hatches to keep out the chilly temperatures. But what if closing windows and doors might boost the risk of inhaling dangerous gases?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless — which can spell trouble.
Radon can leak into your home through cracks and gaps in the foundation or walls at any time of the year, but in the spring and summer, people are more likely to open doors and windows.
“Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking," said Megan Larsen, the environmental health program manager at the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare.
She says this helps dilute the radon that is in the home, whereas in the winter, the radon tends to build up.
“Highest levels are during the winter, when homes are heated and the air becomes more stagnant," Larsen said.
She says it’s important to check your home using a radon test kit. If you detect high levels of the gas, the best thing to do is contact a nationally-certified radon mitigation professional.
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