10 Potential Death Traps Lurking in Your Home


Radon, the Invisible Killer

Colorless, odorless and insidious, radon is a naturally occurring gas (a byproduct of decaying uranium) and a known carcinogen. Since radon develops underground, it often finds its way into buildings through the basement, in cracks in a building's foundation and other openings, such as sump pumps and drains. In fact, studies have revealed that radon concentrations in the same building will be much lower the higher you go from the ground floor.

Prolonged inhalation of radon has been linked with numerous cancers, but primarily lung cancer. So the best defense is early detection. There are numerous off-the-shelf test kits that can give homeowners a general sense of whether they have a problem, though a professional assessment might provide an added measure of security. When purchasing a radon detection kit, you should examine the package for indications the kit has been approved by federal or state health, environmental or consumer protection agencies. The same applies to hiring a radon contractor [source: HSH.com].

If you, or a contractor, have determined that your home has a radon issue, that doesn't mean the property needs to be condemned. However, it's wise to take immediate action, aimed at sealing any openings where radon may be entering the home (this may include your water source. Although testing can be done by the homeowners, most experts recommend that radon diagnosis and reduction projects should be left to trained professionals.

Water is the staff of life. Make sure it's safe.