Ra-what? Radon! Help us help you.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that you cannot see or smell. It is present everywhere around you, but mostly sits in the underground.
In Belgium, there are areas where there is an increased radon concentration. There, radon can enter homes, mainly through cracks in the floor or through the walls of your basement or crawlspace. Good ventilation dilutes the concentration, but in enclosed spaces such as in your home or on the work floor, the concentration can quickly rise significantly.
People who are exposed to radon often or for a long time have an increased risk of lung cancer. How can you protect yourself? In the first place by measuring the radon concentration. If it is too high, good ventilation may already improve the situation sufficiently. In other cases, it may be necessary to make some adjustments to your house.
Nevertheless, many people who live in radon-prone areas do not test their homes for radon, nor do they protect themselves from it. Social scientists undertake research to find out why this is the case and how they can motivate people to protect themselves.