Posts Tagged ‘radon gas’
Frequently Asked Questions about Radon Mitigation
What is radon?
Radon is a dense, radioactive chemical element that exists mainly as a gas. It is invisible, colorless and odorless. Radon gas often accumulates in low-lying areas, such as basements, and exists in many homes without the knowledge of the house’s occupants. Radon gas has been identified as a carcinogen, and has been linked to cases of lung cancer across the country.
Where does radon gas come from?
Radon gas is a byproduct of the natural decay of uranium and similar elements. These elements can be found naturally in certain types of rock, including granite, igneous and limestone, as well as in soil and water. Hot springs can also contain high concentrations of radon.
Although humans are susceptible to ingesting radon by drinking contaminated water, the risk of ingesting significant traces is usually fairly small. It is also possible to consume radon by eating agricultural products that are grown in radon-contaminated soils, but the risk of eating foods that contain high concentrations is also low. Radon poses the most serious threat to humans when it is inhaled. Radon gas can make its way into a home by slipping through cracks in the foundation that lead to the outside. Any pathway that air could take is one that radon could also potentially use.
What types of environments are likely to contain radon?
In general, underground environments have the greatest probability of containing high levels of radon gas. Places such as tunnels and mines are at the greatest risk of accumulating radon. As dangerous as basement radon levels can be, they are usually only a fraction of the strength of radon in underground mines. This is why miners and other underground workers are warned of the potentially severe health risks of the job before they sign an employment contract.
How do I know if there is radon gas in my home?
It can be very difficult to tell if you have radon gas in your house since radon gas does not exhibit properties that are identifiable by human senses. Home radon test kits are commonly available. The short-term kits include a device that is placed in the lowest level of the home. It is left there for several days to absorb the radon, and then sent off to be analyzed. This type of kit is inexpensive and easy to acquire. Long-term radon kits are also produced, and the collectors that come with these sit for up to a year. Long-term kits are more costly, but they are also more accurate. However, a professional test from SWAT Environmental radon mitigation is much faster and more reliable than either type of home test.
If radon gas is found in my home should I look into radon mitigation?
If your home contains more radon gas than is safe, you should have specialists from SWAT Environmental begin radon mitigation as soon as possible. The most effective radon mitigation method is the installation of specialized equipment to improve ventilation in your house, especially in its lower levels. To completely protect your family, other techniques may be necessary as well; SWAT Environmental’s experts will be able to determine the optimal radon mitigation setup for your home.
What You Don’t Know About Radon Gas Could Hurt You
They say that ignorance is bliss, but that is certainly not true when it comes to radon gas contamination. If you have not yet had your home tested for radon, every day you delay could be putting you and your family at grave danger. The sooner you have your property tested, the sooner you will be able to get on with your life and know that your health and the health of your family is protected.
Radon Gas is an Invisible Threat
One of the things that makes radon such a danger is the fact that it is totally invisible. If you have contaminants in your drinking water, you can generally tell you have a problem from the taste and smell of the liquid coming out of your tap. If you have a gas leak around your home, you can discern the odor of rotten eggs. Radon gas provides no such warning signs, and that is one of the factors that makes it such a threat to homeowners and business owners across the country and around the world.
Radon gas is completely invisible, so you could have high levels in your home or commercial building and never even know it. Radon also has no telltale odor, so there is no way to detect it in your home, even if the gas has already built up to toxic levels. The only way to tell for sure if you have a problem with radon is to have the property tested. The sooner you do that, the sooner you can get on with the rest of your life.
Radon Gas is a Serious Health Concern
Radon is nothing to fool around will, and delaying testing could have dire health consequences for yourself and your family, or your workers if you are a business owner or employer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths in nonsmokers, and the second leading cause even among those who do smoke. That makes radon gas one of the most insidious, and certainly one of the most dangerous, sources of indoor air pollution on the planet.
The problem is that radon can slowly build up to toxic levels, and since it is colorless, odorless and invisible you would never even know you have a problem. In small concentrations, radon is relatively harmless, but when concentrated in a small area it can become deadly, causing lung cancers and other serious respiratory ailments.
The health effects of exposure to radon gas tend to get worse over time, making it even more important to have your home or business tested as soon as you can. Even if you do not suspect a problem, the peace of mind alone is worth the small cost of testing. When you call an experienced radon testing company, a certified technician will test your property and determine whether or not you have high levels of radon. If your home or business does have high levels of radon gas, there are techniques that can be used to reduce those levels and make your home or business safe. But it all starts with testing, and you should have your property checked without delay for radon gas.