There is a reason why the government is serious on radon mitigation is because it concerns the safety and health of its citizens. Radon is a naturally occurring and colorless gas. It can be found beneath the ground or a result of the decay of other elements. In the past radon remediation was not that much of a problem since it was limited to mines. However it was found out later that contamination was not limited to mines but it is found in urban and rural areas as well. What makes it more dangerous is that in not only contaminates the ground but the groundwater as well. As a radioactive element, one health risk of radon is cancer, particularly lung cancer. To be able to get a better idea on the health risk, let us compare it to the leading cause of lung cancer in the world: smoking.
Lung cancer kills many people in a year. Even if there is a possibility of treatment, the rate of survival remains low especially for those who have the disease already. People who are diagnosed are said to have at most 15% chance of living more than 5 years. It needs to be said that this particular disease is very preventable.
We all know that smoking can cause lung cancer though admittedly there are no strong studies linking them. The American Cancer Society estimate that hundreds of thousands of people die from cancer annually. Even in women lung cancer has overtaken breast cancer as the top reason for deaths. Even if smoking can cause cancer this is preventable since all one has to do is stop smoking or not smoke altogether. We are not even including a discussion on second-hand smoking.
However when it comes to radon contamination, it is that much difficult. Though you can spend money for radon removal, there is always that possibility that the radon will remain there. The Environmental Protection Agency has said that at the current rate it is going, radon contamination is now the second leading cause of lung cancer. More than 20,000 cancer-related deaths per year have been attributed to lung cancer. Another reason for the increase in the health risk of radon is that the contamination is often found indoors. Thus while business establishments or federal buildings already have radon mitigation systems in pace, some houses still have to put such schemes in place. This means homeowners face higher risks when it comes to radon contamination.
Clearly this tells us that indeed radon remediation is very important. While it may cost to put systems in place, the health of the people in the house far outweighs any amount you may pay. It may still be a long time before the risk of radon will be gone. However by putting in correct measures you can lower the chance of people getting cancer. While smoking may the leading cause of lung cancer, it does not mean that we disregard those caused by radon. Practice correct radon mitigation and be safe always.