Archive for June, 2012
If your family’s safety is your top priority, you should be aware of the dangers of radon gas. Radon poisoning is a very serious condition that can potentially lead to long-term negative side effects for your health. Radon is originally created during the radioactive breakdown and decay of uranium deposits in the soil. The result is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas. Its toxicity level is very high, though it may seem harmless simply because it is so difficult to detect. If your house contains accumulated radon gas, its radioactive attack on the body stealthily progresses without your knowledge, poisoning you gradually. Because radon poisoning is introduced via inhalation, it is a leading cause of lung cancer in those who are exposed to the harmful gas over a period of time. The adverse effects of radon poisoning may not be discovered until many years into the future. That is why prevention and detection are critical to keeping your health and your family’s health protected.
What Should I Do to Start Radon Abatement?
Detecting radon gas in your home is impossible through your senses alone. Therefore, several testing methods have been developed for quick detection. A home version of these tests can often be purchased at a local home improvement store such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.
There are four different types of passive tests: charcoal canister, charcoal liquid scintillation device, alpha track detector, or electret ion detector. These are normally used for only in one-time readings; however, some devices have the ability to provide continual readings of radon levels. These active devices are more expensive and often more advanced in technical capabilities, utilizing electricity to keep producing their readings.
To test, simply place one of the tests at breathing level in your basement and wait for between a couple of days to a week to collect the reading (the testing kit’s instructions will specify the exact waiting period necessary). You then send the test results to a laboratory that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. The results are sent back to you, and if they are higher than 4.0 pCi/L, you should have the radon professionally removed by SWAT Environmental radon abatement technicians. Of course, many people have SWAT Environmental perform the testing as well to ensure that it is accurate.
Having Radon Abatement Performed
While there are a few “home remedy” types of radon abatement practices, they may or may not lower the levels safely. It is safer to rely on professional radon abatement experts from SWAT Environmental. They may use a variety of techniques. One common method is to install a soil suction system. Another is to install a fan-based mitigation system, also known as a sub-slab depressurization system. SWAT’s radon abatement experts will analyze your home to determine exactly what method will work best in your situation. After the radon abatement system is installed, you can rest easy, knowing that your family’s health is protected.
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The Risks of High Radon Levels
Radon levels in Lexington, Kentucky could be described as somewhat higher than the nationally accepted threshold for concern. Radon, an invisible, toxic and radioactive heavy gas, can be formed when uranium and other elements decay naturally. When it enters your home and accumulates, radon gas can potentially contribute to all sorts of health issues.
Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter of air, or pCi/L. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, suggests implementing proactive solutions to lower your radon levels if testing determines that your home contains levels at or above 4.0 pCi/L. Below these radon levels, the EPA still recommends taking preventative action as a precaution since problems may still occur later on. Statistics from the EPA’s study of the issue may put some perspective on the problems of unusually high radon levels. At 4.0 pC/L of radon gas, out of one thousand people who smoked, sixty two may be diagnosed with lung cancer. At the same level, for smokers, the risk of developing lung cancer is five times the risk of dying due to a vehicle accident. For those who have never smoked in their life, out of one thousand people, seven could develop lung cancer at 4.0 pC/L of radon; this is similar to the chances of dying in a vehicle accident.
Radon Levels in Lexington, Kentucky
Radon levels in Lexington, Kentucky are considered to be elevated compared to the rest of the United States and should be of general concern for the public’s health for several reasons. Lexington, Kentucky is in Fayette County; studies in this county have found more than half of the homes evaluated contain significant radon levels. In fact, a recent study found that the majority of homes in and around Lexington, Kentucky show radon level test results double that of the national recommended minimum. This problem is compounded by the fact that the state of Kentucky has the highest rates of lung cancer incidences and deaths due to smoking in the nation. Elevated radon levels combined with the unhealthy habit of inhaling cigarette smoke is a particularly serious cause for concern.
Dealing with High Radon Levels
Testing for radon levels is the first step in protecting yourself from radon gas. The EPA recommends a second test if you find radon levels above the recommended threshold. Testing for high radon levels in Lexington, Kentucky can be done yourself with a home test kit; for increased accuracy and speed, however, you should have SWAT Environmental perform a specialized professional test. If necessary, their experts can also install systems to lower your radon levels.
Your neighbor’s home may test low, but that does not necessarily mean that your home contains low radon levels as well; each home is different. Remember to have your water tested as well as your air, as both media can contain radon. These precautions can potentially protect you and your family from serious health problems down the road.