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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.

Radon

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.

What do you think motivates people the most to test their home for radon concentration?

  • This seems a logical answer. Knowledge is important, but unfortunately not always sufficient. We often base our actions on emotions and feelings rather than knowledge. Just think about choosing your lunch: a healthy salad or a crunchy fries?

    Which factor plays an even bigger role in this issue than knowledge?

  • Correct! Social science studies show that this is, indeed, the most influential factor among the three possible answers.

    If you see your friends and family testing their homes, or talk with them about radon, you will probably think this is something desirable and be more likely to test yourself.

  • Almost right! Believing that you have the skills to do such a test is a bonus, but it is certainly not the most decisive factor.

    What factor is more decisive than skill?

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