Weather conditions in Midwest could worsen radon levels in homes

Weather predictions in the Midwest have health officials worried about radon levels in people's homes, according to a recent article by The Kansas City Star. In Kansas City, Missouri, for example, scientists have said that a drought will affect the area well into the spring, altering the ground conditions and stressing home foundations so that the radioactive gas can travel more easily into houses.

Although smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that exposure to radon accounts for 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. This disease is treatable, but the survival rate is low, with only 11 to 15 percent of those affected by it living for more than five years after being diagnosed. 

With these scary numbers in mind, it's important for homeowners – not just in the Midwest, but everywhere in the country – to take proper precautions to ensure that they are not breathing in this hazardous gas.

"We're seeing a higher percentage of homes coming in with higher readings, and we've been seeing it for a year and a half," said Gary Hodgden, whose company tests homes in the area for traces of the radon. "I know of someone who, four years ago, had low levels of radon when he tested. More recently, the test came in at four times that amount."

If you want to have your home checked out, you may want to reach out to a home inspection contractor. These professionals can conduct radon testing at your current property and determine if you are safe. Additionally, it's essential to get a house inspected before you buy it, since it's impossible for the untrained eye to pick up on these kinds of hazards.