Archive for July, 2012
Effects of Radon in Water for Lexington, Kentucky Residents
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed by decaying elements like uranium deep beneath the earth’s surface. The radon escapes from the earth’s crust through cracks in the bedrock and then either dissolves into the groundwater or seeps into people’s homes through cracks in their house’s foundation. If the water supply for your home has been contaminated by radon, you and your family could be at a serious health risk without even realizing it — a situation that has occurred more than once in and around Lexington, Kentucky.
Health Risks from Radon in Water
Exposure to high levels of radon in the home through inhalation has been linked to a significantly increased possibility of developing lung cancer. Drinking radon contaminated water has also been linked to stomach cancer, although this is a much less common occurrence. The real problem is not in drinking the waterborne radon, it is that radon is released into the air when the water is used, increasing the likelihood that it will be inhaled.
When you heat up water containing radon, radon particles are released into the air that you breathe. This means that every time you take a shower, wash your hands or use the dishwasher, more radon is being added to the air of your home. Of course, the more radon you inhale as time goes by, the greater your chances of developing cancer or another health problem.
Sources of Waterborne Radon
Most surface sources of the water that is pumped into your home are relatively free from radon. Any radon present in water that comes from lakes or reservoirs usually releases into the air long before it reaches your home. Therefore, most city water supplies that come from this type of system pose a reduced threat of carrying radon into a home, although it is still possible in some cases.
However, if your Lexington house is supplied by a well, you may be at a greater risk of having radon present in your water. Deep water wells that penetrate the bedrock, sometimes called artesian or drilled wells, are often contaminated because cracks in the bedrock allow radon to dissolve into the water. The chances of radon entering your home and infecting its air, therefore, are greater if your house is supplied by well water.
Testing for Radon in Water
Since radon is an invisible gas with no scent or other distinguishing characteristics to human senses, it is undetectable in both air and water without specialized testing. If you live in Lexington and use well water in your home, you should have your house tested for radon regularly. You can have SWAT Environmental’s experts perform the test, or you can buy a home version to use yourself. If the test reveals that there is radon present in your water supply, you can have SWAT’s experts install any necessary systems to purify it and to ensure that you are protected.
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