Ben Dhonau posted an interesting comment on my little brainfart yesterday:
Cop yourself on: the dangers of accumulation in radon in confined spaces, especially houses, have been proved, known about, and publicized for many decades. If you want to ignore the risk that’s your lookout, but these paranoid conspiracy theories of yours are pretty silly. In incidentally it would cost about €50 to find out whether or not you have a problem.
I say it’s interesting as it goes to the very heart of what I was trying to say.
“Cop yourself on“. I’m not sure of the message here. I would consider myself to be as copped on as most. If anything I’m frequently too copped on.
“the dangers of accumulation in radon in confined spaces, especially houses, have been proved, known about, and publicized for many decades“. This is indeed true to a point. The subject of Radon gas has indeed cropped up over the decades and I am well aware that it is caused by the decay of Uranium which occurs naturally in the rocks we call home. However, Ben makes his first critical error here when he talks about the dangers being proved. The dangers are theorised at best, and theory is not proof. The best they can say is that there is radiation from Radon gas and radiation causes cancers, ergo Radon causes cancers. Does that take into account the levels of radiation involved? Their claim of 350 deaths a year is risable nonsense as it is purely a number on a spreadsheet calculated using various formulas.
“If you want to ignore the risk that’s your lookout” That is true and is the point I am making. I am being presented with a theoretical [and miniscule] fear and I am choosing to ignore it. Life is crammed with risks from birth to death. My own house is a deathtrap if I were to worry about risk all the time. There are sharp knives, glass, flammable materials, stairs, numerous poisons and mains electricity everywhere. I never ignore risk; I just take appropriate precautions. The risk from Radon is so small [even though I’m apparently in a Red Zone] just I just think precautions are unnecessary, especially as it would cost a couple of thousand to just potentially reduce an already minimal risk.
“but these paranoid conspiracy theories of yours are pretty silly.” There is nothing paranoid nor theoretical there. The panic induced into the populace by fear of “second hand smoke” and Covid-19 is fact not theory: Just ask anyone whose business has gone to the wall as a result of either. I never said there was a conspiracy. You may have taken that implication but I was suggesting as fact that there have just been a constant string of events which caused fear in the population.
Life is full of risks. I have heard it said that the most dangerous place you can possibly be is your own kitchen, and I would well believe it. The key factor though is relative risk. There is a risk a knife may slip and slice a vein or artery but while that risk indeed exists, it is relatively minimal [I have lived with kitchens for well over seventy years and it hasn’t happened yet].
We live in a risk averse society which is building up serious consequences for the future. I dread to think what adult life will be like for those kids who are brought up in an atmosphere of risk avoidance. Kids should be taught about risks and taught which are seriously dangerous and which aren’t.
“incidentally it would cost about €50 to find out whether or not you have a problem.” Why on earth would I spend €50 to see if I have a problem when I know that problem probably exists and where I have no intention of lashing out a couple of grand to mitigate a minimal risk?
It’s all relative.