Radon Symptoms
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Radon Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of radon poisoning?

You can't see, smell or taste radon gas. Even if you are breathing in a high level of radon, there are no obvious signs. Instead exposure to high levels of radon over time puts you at risk of developing lung cancer, and it is these symptoms that we often call signs of radon poisoning. If you smoke, this can put you at an even higher risk.

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer from radon exposure can include:

Girl coughing

A persistent cough could be a sign that you have radon poisoning.

  • Persistent cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent infections like bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

According to the American Cancer Society, smoking cigarettes are the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and radon is the second leading cause. It is estimated that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year are caused by radon exposure.

What should you do if you notice radon poisoning symptoms?

If you notice potential symptoms of radon poisoning then it is vital you act immediately.

  • 1. See your doctor

    Radon poisoning symptoms often don't appear until you either have cancer or are very close. If you think you might have radon poisoning then see your doctor right away.

  • 2. Schedule a radon test

    After you've seen your doctor you should make sure to schedule a radon test. A qualified radon contractor can help you discover if radon is the problem and let you know what level of radon is present in your home.

  • 3. Install a radon mitigation system

    If your home tests positive for a high level of radon then the next step is to install a radon mitigation system. A radon mitigation system can harmlessly disperse the radon in your home and make it safe to live in again. Luckily these systems are affordable to install and easy to maintain, allowing you to keep your family and home protected with minimal inconvenience.

Commonly asked questions about radon poisoning

  • When do radon poisoning symptoms appear?

    One reason that radon poisoning is so dangerous is that the symptoms can take a while to appear. Radon poisoning builds up very slowly in your body, so when the symptoms finally appear you can't afford to ignore them. All too often radon poisoning symptoms don't actually appear until you already have cancer or are quite close. This is why it is best to test for radon early, even if you haven't noticed symptoms yet.

  • Have I been exposed to radon?

    The answer is most likely yes. Small amounts of radon are very common and it is highly unlikely you haven't been exposed at some point. The real question is how much radon have you been exposed to? While a trace amount of radon isn't a huge problem, high levels of radon and frequent exposure can dramatically increase your risk of lung cancer. You can learn more about the different levels of radon here.

  • How can I reduce my risk of radon poisoning?

    All radon prevention begins with testing. A radon contractor can find out what level of radon is present in your home. If they find dangerous levels of radon then they'll suggest you install a radon mitigation system. A properly installed radon mitigation system will harmlessly disperse the radon gas, making your home dramatically safer. The best part is that these mitigation systems are affordable to install and require minimal maintenance over their lifespan.

  • Can radon give you cancer?

    Unfortunately the answer is very much yes. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S, just after smoking. According to the National Cancer Institute, scientists estimate that every year between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States are related to radon. Many of the symptoms of radon poisoning are actually early signs of lung cancer.

  • What is a CAT scan? Should I get one if I have any of these symptoms?

    A CAT scan, also known as a CT scan, is a special type of X-ray test that can produce an image of the whole body. These machines are incredibly important in the medical field since they provide a safe and noninvasive way for doctors to find early signs of diseases like cancer.

    As for the second question, it really depends on your doctor. A CAT scan may be a great idea since the process is relatively simple and many of the symptoms of radon poisoning also indicate potential lung disease. However, your doctor will better know if a CAT scan is right for you.

How to find your radon experts?

National Radon Defense is a national network of professional radon contractors. Contact National Radon Defense today to find professionals in your area who can take care of all your radon testing and mitigation needs.

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

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