Dangers of Radon
Radon is a harmful gas that, with consistent exposure, can cause a variety of cancers, breathing problems, lung damage etc. However, humans aren’t the only ones affected by this dangerous gas. Radon gas can have a harmful impact on your household pets as well.
What is Radon?
Radon is a gas that is odorless, colorless, and harmful to humans and many animals. Once radon is present in high concentrations, it compromises air quality and is absorbed into the body causing severe health problems. According to EPA radon study results (Environmental Protection Agency), radon is the primary cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.
There is no safe level of radon. The EPA recommends radon mitigation work if the radon measurement is between 2-4pCi/L. If the radon measurement registers over 4pCi/L, immediate action should be taken.
How Pets Become Exposed to Radon
Like humans, household pets are susceptible to radon poisoning. Studies have shown that dogs are the top household pet to be most negatively impacted by radon with cats coming in second.
Since most pets, like dogs and cats, spend most of their time indoors, their chances of radon exposure are significantly high. Pets who spend large amounts of time in basements have elevated risks of radon exposure because basements that are not properly sealed or that have cracked foundations are leading causes of radon entry points into homes.
Since pets rely heavily on scent and will often sniff or lick floors, there is an increased chance of radon entering your pet’s lungs directly. Since your pet’s lungs are small, they can be damaged quicker and more severely than in humans.
How Does Radon Affect Pets?
Radon poisoning symptoms can be difficult to detect, so make sure to monitor your pet’s usual behavior if you are concerned.
Symptoms of radon poisoning in dogs may include:
- Coughing, hacking, or general breathing problems
- Loss of appetite
Symptoms of radon poisoning in cats may include:
- Weight loss
- Fatigue or increased inactivity
- Loss of appetite
- Coughing blood
Consult your vet immediately if you believe your pet may have radon poisoning. Failure to catch radon poisoning symptoms in the early stages can lead to cancer development in dogs and cats.
How to Protect Pets from Radon Poisoning
Luckily, there are steps you can take to reduce your pet’s exposure to radon in your home. Taking your pet for regular vet check-ups and visits will increase your chances of catching radon poisoning early on. But, reducing the amount of radon in your home also needs to be a priority.
Testing your home is always the first step in preventing radon-induced lung cancer in your pets or yourself.
You can lower radon levels in your home by:
- Ensuring proper ventilation of the sub slab through mitigation
- Repairing cracks and gaps in floors and the foundation, sealing sump pits, and other entry locations
- Installing a radon mitigation system
At Professional Home Inspection Service, we provide radon mitigation services, radon testing services, and radon system repair services to help you keep your home safe for your family and pets.
Our inspectors will find the sources of radon entry into your home, conduct thorough tests to determine radon levels, analyze the test results, and will take the time to explain the results to you so you can take informed next steps to reduce the radon levels in your home.
Don’t put your family and pet’s lives in danger. Contact us today to find out how we can reduce the radon levels in your home.