How to Reduce the Risk of Radon Exposure in Your Home

Radon is an odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that all too often goes untested in homes. Elevated levels of radon pose serious health risks and have become responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States. To reduce your risk of radon exposure, it’s important to understand the causes of high radon levels as well as effective ways to maintain a safe radon level in your home.

What is Radon?

Radon is produced when uranium breaks down in rock, soil, and water. Though rock and water can emit small amounts of radon, soil is the primary source of elevated radon levels in U.S. homes. If the soil around your home has elevated levels, the radioactive gas can enter your home through cracks or other openings along the foundation, polluting the air you breathe. This gas can also enter your home through water, particularly through ground water sources or well system.

Testing for Radon

The only way to determine if your home has dangerous levels of radon is to administer a radon test. You can either hire a certified, independent contractor to test your home’s level, or you can use a Do-It-Yourself radon test kit. Either method is affordable and easily administered.

Studies show that the average level of radon in U.S. homes is 1.3 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). This is wonderful considering the action level indicated by the EPA rests at 4.0 pCi/L. If your home shows a radon level of 4.0 pCi/L or higher, you could be at risk. Keep in mind that if you smoke and your home has an elevated radon level, you are at an even higher risk for contracting lung cancer and other harmful conditions.

How to Reduce Radon in Your Home

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There are several steps you can take to reduce the radon level in your home, however, be sure to measure the radon levels first and implement a way to get the current radon out of your home. Otherwise, you might trap the radon and prevent it from exiting your home-quite counterproductive!

  • Seal cracks and/or openings along your home’s foundation to limit radon from entering. Focus on the lower levels of your home, such as the basement or garage. If your home has a crawlspace foundation, cover the ground with a high-density plastic sheet.
  • Prevent radon from entering your home with a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). An HRV improves a home’s air quality by increasing ventilation and reducing radon levels. HRVs can ventilate your entire home or just a particular area that is susceptible to radon, such as the basement. Be sure to regularly change your HRV’s filter to ensure optimal results.
  • Pressurization is an effective radon reduction technique designed to increase the pressure in a home’s basement, where radon typically enters from the soil. This increase in pressure prevents radon from entering the home through its lower levels.
  • For temporary radon reduction, open windows, doors, and lower-level vents to let in outdoor air and increase natural ventilation.

Testing your home for radon is easy and inexpensive, and can drastically reduce your risk of lung cancer. You can perform a radon test yourself or hire a professional. So don’t wait — take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of radon exposure in your home today!

Contact the experts at Advanced Basement Systems for radon mitigation in Ontario and all surrounding areas.

Author: Taylor Harvel
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Safeguard Your Family From Dangerous Radon Gas – Test Your Home For Radon Today

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is harmless in low concentrations. Outdoors, as it seeps out of the soil, the radon safely dissipates into the atmosphere. But as radon leeches into your home through the foundation or crawl space, it has nowhere to go-gradually accumulating over time, these high concentrations of radon gas can be extremely dangerous for your family! Keep your family safe: call the professionals today for an accurate radon test.

Why should you care about radon in your home?

In small doses and during short term exposure, radon is generally harmless. But high concentrations of radon gas can be hazardous to your whole family’s health. The number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the number two cause in smokers, radon is a known carcinogen. And, as the American Lung Association estimates, the average American spends between 60% and 90% of the time inside their home. That’s a ton of exposure to this dangerous gas if you have a radon problem in your home!

How do you know if you have a radon problem?

Because radon is both odorless and invisible, radon testing is the only way to gauge whether or not you have a problem in your home. This non-invasive test involves measuring the concentration of radon in your house’s air. While there are do-it-yourself radon test kits available, we strongly suggest using a professional radon contractor for your test. These experts are able to provide the most precise, accurate radon measurements, ensuring you get the correct information you need to know your family is safe!

What should I do if my radon test comes back positive?

If your radon test indicates a high level of the gas inside your house, you need to address the problem immediately. Long-term exposure to elevated radon concentrations is the most dangerous, so eliminating the issue ASAP can help reduce your risks! The answer is radon mitigation. An affordable and relatively easy solution for this health hazard, radon mitigation systems effectively vent radon from inside your home to the air outside, where the gas harmlessly dissipates.

Contact your radon professional today for complete testing and mitigation. Your family could be at risk-accurate testing will put your mind at ease, so call your radon contractor today!

Matt Gallo is a home improvement specialist and the Internet marketing manager for Prospect Genius, bringing local businesses online local advertising.

Author: Matt Gallo
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon and Your Health

These days, radon is a very talked about subject, but there are homeowners and renters who remain unaware of radon and the serious effects it can have on their health.

Radon is an invisible, silent, hazardous, and odorless radioactive gas that silently enters into your home. Radon is a direct result of the decaying of a small amount of uranium found in the earth’s crust. Radon tends to enter through small holes and cracks in the walls and floors of your foundation, or through utility lines openings, drains, sump openings. Radon spreads rather quickly. Once radon enters your basement it can quickly spread to the above levels and living spaces of your home. Once radon enters your home it can put you and your family, as well as your health in danger of poisoning.

Why is radon so dangerous?

Radon is a very dangerous and hazardous gas because it breaks down quickly and instantly spreads throughout the air. Because radon has the tendency to break down at a rapid speed, larger amounts of radon can be dangerous to you and your health. Radon poisoning can occur without your knowledge and within a short amount of time. As quickly as the gas spreads in your home, you and your family are at immediate risk of radon poisoning.

How can radon be found?

Radon in the largest sources is located in the soil around and under homes, but radon can also be in the water you drink, the building materials in your home, or in the air you breathe.

Can radon levels elevate?

Since radon comes directly from the soil under and around your home, any home is placed at risk, especially those that have a dirt crawl space. Basements that only have a dirt crawl space are at risk to being exposed to maximum levels of radon.

Can my home be exposed to radon if I have a concrete basement?

Even if your basement has a concrete floor it is also at risk of hosting maximum levels of radon.
How is radon measured?

There are radon detectors that can be installed and monitored by professionals. By having the radon in your home under a constant careful eye allows the levels of radon to be continuously measured. This will also protect you and your family from radon poisoning exposure.

If you are on a tight budget, here are inexpensive to moderately priced devices and special detection equipment on the market. These devices and special detection equipment is available in most hardware stores and home building centers around the country.

These devices and special detection equipment is placed in your home for several days. After several days, the detection system is removed and sent to a processing center or lab where tests are performed to determine if radon is in your home, if you and your family have been exposed, as well as the level of radon. Once all the tests have been processed, a report will be sent to you to confirm if you do or do not have radon in your home.

Can radon put me and my family at risk of serious health issues?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 20,000 people die in the United States each year due to from radon related lung cancer. Men and women who smoke and have been exposed to the radioactive gas have a greater chance of developing lung cancer than those who do not smoke or use tobacco based products.

Studies have also shown, non-tobacco users and young children have a much higher chance of developing lung cancer when they have been exposed to the radioactive gas than those who have not been exposed, but young children tend to be more at risk of being exposed.

What is radon poisoning?

Since radon is the source of a decaying process, tiny radioactive particles are slowly and silently released into the air. Radon poisoning occurs when you inhale large mounts of high levels of the radioactive gas into your lungs. By breathing radon into your lungs it can cause moderate to severe damage to the lungs, resulting in lung cancer.

Why does radon poisoning occur?

Radon poisoning has a tendency to occur when crawl spaces, basements or mines are poorly encapsulated.

What are the signs of radon poisoning?

The Environmental Protection Agency has spent endless hours and money researching the symptoms and effects of this radioactive gas. There are indications to look for to tell if you and our family have been exposed to radon poisoning. Those symptoms are a persistent dry cough, hoarseness, respiratory infections, and respiratory issues.

What is the best way to confirm if I have been exposed to radon?

If you believe you or your family have been exposed to radon or if you are experiencing symptoms that you believe are from radon poisoning, it is best to seek medical attention. A physician will give you a complete check up, and run the appropriate tests to determine if you have been exposed to the radioactive gas, and what treatment will suit your specific needs.

How can I protect myself and my family from radon poisoning?

The United States Surgeon General’s office recommends all homeowners and landlords have their homes and rental properties tested for radon.

Solution

If you believe you and your family may have been exposed to radon it is best to contact a professional who can evaluate and properly test your home for radon. This will assure you and your family are safe from this radioactive gas.

Contact the radon experts at Interior Basement Systems for radon testing in Kelowna!

Author: Donna Kshir
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is found all over the world and inside virtually every structure. Radon is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a radioactive element found in rock, soil, and water.

Radon is dangerous. Radon is estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year in the United States. The Surgeon General has cited radon as the second most common cause of lung cancer behind only smoking; the number one cause of lung cancer.

History of Radon

Radon, identified as a unique element in 1900, was the fifth radioactive element discovered. Physicians and scientists were aware of the existence of something in the mines that was making miners sick as far back as 1530. Miners contracted an illness called the “wasting away disease” or “mountain disease.” In the 1800’s, the then unnamed element radon, was determined to be the cause of the diseases effecting miners. These miner’s diseases were later classified lung cancer. Major studies of the effects of radon done during the cold war firmly established radon as dangerous to human health.

Radon Today

Radon seeps into all structures and is has no odor or color and thus not detectable unless actually looked for by a professional who has the correct tools for discovering it.

Radon has caused much controversy over the years and became a cause celebre in the 1970s when it was first determined to harmful to humans. Homeowners initially became aware of radon through the news media and home buyers started asking for radon inspections and mortgage insurance companies demanded it. Home sellers were confused and angry because they saw this new inspection as another way to delay or even kill the sale of their home. Finally the real estate industry caught on and began telling sellers up front to expect to provide the results of a radon inspection. Today, a radon inspection is part of the documentation required in almost every real estate transaction.

The Risks to Your Body of Living with Radon

Radon gas decays into radioactive particles and if you are exposed to and inhale these tiny particles they get trapped inside your lungs. As they break down, the particles release small bursts of energy. These tiny bursts of energy will damage your lungs and can sometimes result in lung cancer.

Doctors and scientists have extensively researched radon and know more about the cancer causing effects of radon than any other cancer causing substance, gas or element. The evidence is conclusive; there is no reason to doubt the dangerous effects of radon and its potentially deadly effect on humans.

Radon Protection

The determination that radon is dangerous is not a reason to live in fear of the gas, the gas is everywhere. You do need to learn what precautions to take to protect yourself and your family. In the United States radon is easily detectable and easily mitigated. In every city, there are professionals who can test for the presence of radon and can provide the protection you may need.

Learn more about radon mitigation in Omaha visit http://www.thrasherbasement.com/radon-services/

Author: Boris Kovalsky
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Introduction Into Radon Gas

Radon is a gas that is produced by the decay of uranium and radium. Unlike some indoor pollutants, it cannot be detected by our senses. Radon occurs naturally in most soil and rock. Most homes have some radon present, as does the outdoor air. EPA estimates that 1 out of every 15 homes in America have high levels of radon.

Radon in a home’s air can come from three sources, soil gas, building materials or the water supply. Compared to entering a home through water, radon entering water through the soil is usually a much larger risk. If you are concerned about radon being present in your water then these tests are also available.

Radon in building materials is mainly found in stacked stone and granite counter tops. If radon levels are above 4.0 pCi/l it is a possibility that these materials may be part of the issue.

When radon gets trapped inside your home it starts to decay. The decay particles of radon are polonium 218, polonium 214, lead 214, and bismuth 214. Polonium 218 and polonium 214 do most of the lung damage in humans.

Radon is measured in picocurries per liter. The EPA considers radon levels of 4.0 pCi/l and above to be a threshold for installing a mitigation system in homes.

U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory

“Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well established venting techniques.” January 2005

You may be asking yourself if you should have your home tested for radon and the answer is YES.

Protect yourself, Protect your family.

Superior Home Inspections is certified through the National Environmental Health Association/National Radon Proficiency Program. We use state of the art continuous radon monitors for testing. These monitors give us the ability to give you results on site, track real time variation of radon concentrations, and tampering features. If you want accurate testing radon monitors are the only way to go.

If you want to educate yourself more about radon all of the EPA’s information can be found at our website at:

http://choosesuperiorinspection.com/radon_facts.html

If you want to schedule a radon test please visit our Inspection Request page or give us a call at (678)-410-3005

Author: Matthew Thoroman
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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