Radon gas is an invisible radioactive threat that poses a significant health risk in Broward County homes and buildings.
Radon can build up undetected to dangerous levels as an odorless, colorless gas. Prolonged radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
With radon present across Florida, Broward County residents must test and mitigate this severe cancer-causing substance.
The Health Dangers of Radon Exposure
Radon originates from the natural radioactive decay of uranium deposits in rock, soil, and water.
As a gas, it seeps into buildings through cracks and openings in foundations. Without proper ventilation, radon becomes trapped inside and accumulates.
The greatest threat is posed when radon and its decay products are inhaled. Radioactive particles release small bursts of energy that can damage lung tissue DNA, causing lung cancer over the long term.
Radon is considered a Class A carcinogen, with prolonged exposure highly likely to cause cancer.
After smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer nationwide. The danger is even greater for smokers with a much higher lung cancer risk when exposed to radon.
Radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually in the U.S. alone.
Assessing Broward County’s Radon Risks
According to the Florida Department of Health, 1 in 5 homes tested in the state show radon levels above the EPA’s action level of 4 pCi/L.
Testing is the only way to determine if a home, school, business, or other building has elevated radon. Broward County residents should assume their property is at risk.
Radon potential does not discriminate based on neighborhood, home value, or age of construction.
Elevated levels have been found in homes old and new, including high-rises. All foundation types—including basements, crawl spaces, and slabs—can permit radon entry. Even homes with no cracks or openings can harbor radon.
According to the latest EPA map, Broward County falls within the highest potential zone for indoor radon.
While gases in outdoor air quickly dilute to harmless concentrations, enclosed spaces enable dangerous build-up. Proper testing is the only way to determine if mitigation is needed.
Testing and Mitigating Radon in Homes and Buildings
The World Health Organization, U.S. EPA, and Florida Department of Health all strongly recommend testing for radon gas.
Radon mitigation systems draw gases from below the foundation and vent them above the roofline, where they can dissipate.
A qualified radon mitigation contractor such as Florida Inspection Unlimited can assess the building and install the appropriate system.
In addition to active mitigation, caulking floor, and wall cracks, sealing foundation openings, and increasing ventilation can help reduce radon levels.
Any mitigation steps for rental properties or schools should have landlord approval. Mitigation costs vary but are worthwhile, given the enormous health benefits.
Reducing Community Radon Risks in Broward County
On a community level, Broward County residents can work together to reduce radon risks. Some recommendations include:
- Educating others on radon risks, testing, and mitigation.
- Advocating for radon-resistant building codes for new construction.
- Encouraging home inspectors to have radon screening before property sales.
- Promoting testing and mitigation in schools and workplaces.
- Supporting funding for reduced-cost mitigation in lower-income communities.
Increased public awareness and action can reduce exposure to this invisible carcinogen, protecting thousands of lives.
Grassroots promotion of residential and workplace radon programs is vital to expanding local protective efforts.
Take Action Against This Preventable Health Risk
Radon gas poses a severe yet avoidable health threat. While Broward County has significant radon potential, the risks can be addressed through proper testing, mitigation, and community education.
Homeowners, tenants, schools, businesses, and local leaders must join to increase protective action against radon exposure across the region. The health benefits will be immeasurable.