Category Archives: About Radon

what is radon? how was it discovered? how it effects your health? … and more

Pros & Cons of Various House Foundations

Slab, Crawlspace or Basement? When building a new home, which foundation is the best choice? I offer the pros & cons of the typical three choices.

Slab:

Pros:
– Least expensive to build
– No moisture/humidity to deal with under sub-floor
– Easy access for handicapped or senior persons, since very close to ground level

Cons:
– Hard surface, takes a toll on your body/joints
– Difficult to run additional wires/pipes
– HVAC typically located in the attic (unconditioned space)
– A leak in a water supply line in the slab is very expensive to fix
– Entrance at ground level, not as eye appealing
– High likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)
– More prone to wood destroying insect issues, since close to ground

Crawlspace:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– Easy access for repairs
– Less likely to have a radon issue (on ventilated crawlspaces)

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Cons:
– Moisture issues (water & humidity) are a major issues, creates fungus growth & rot
– Easy access for unwanted pests
– HVAC in unconditioned space

Basement:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Easy access for repairs
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– HVAC is located in conditioned space (more energy efficient)
– Additional storage/workshop
– Inexpensive additional square footage, can be finished at a later time
– Increased re-sale value of home & increased buyer appeal
– You can build on a sloping grade
– Provides shelter during extreme weather (tornado’s, hurricane’s, etc)

Cons:
– Most expensive to build (compared to a slab or crawlspace)
– Need a sloping lot to build a walkout basement
– Higher likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)

Mac has remodeled many old homes, been employed in several different construction trades & is a major do-it-yourselfer. He currently owns a home inspection company and has been inspecting homes for many years which is where my experience is most relevant to the proper way to build a home. To learn more about building your dream home, visit my website, http://www.house-building-tips.net

Author: Mac Barlow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Strategies to Sell Your House Yourself – Pay Close Attention to Experts & Ignore Them at Your Peril!

When you are trying to sell your house yourself, you may have dispensed the services of an agent, but you should heed the advice given by other professionals. Prior to putting your home on the market, you will need the services of a professional inspector. Get your inspector to thoroughly examine your home and pick up valuable tips that could mean the difference between success and failure.

One of the major things to be aware of when selling your house yourself is the property’s electrical wiring. The last thing you want is for all your sale profits to go towards the cost of a lawyer because faulty wiring caused serious damage to your home.

All experts will mention the radon test to you. If your home has high levels of radon, this can be easily fixed. Plus this is a huge plus point for potential buyers. For the most accurate results, you should have a thorough radon test and then do a retest afterward. Mention this to buyers when they visit.


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Do you desperately need to know How To Sell Your House Yourself?

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Author: Sam Renstaff
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Home Safety – Radon Detection

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of uranium in rocks and soil. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas. Radon Gas seeps up through the ground and spreads in every direction as it enters the atmosphere. Radon can be dissolved in water and released into the atmosphere when the water is used. Fortunately, Radon gas is minimal outdoors. However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as crawlspaces and basements, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.

How can you be exposed to radon?

Radon is a part of the air you breathe. Low levels of radon in the air that you breathe are normal. If you breathe higher levels of radon you could be at risk of developing lung cancer.

Radon enters your home through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collects indoors. Building materials such as granite or water from wells can increase radon levels in your home. It can also be released from building materials, or from water obtained from wells that contain radon. If your home is well insulated and tightly constructed you could have higher levels of radon. In addition, if your home is built on uranium rich soil you could have higher levels of radon. Radon levels are typically higher in basements and first floors..

How may radon cause you to get cancer?

Radon like uranium decays giving off tiny radioactive particles. Damage to the cells that lines your lungs can occur when tiny radioactive particles are inhaled. If you breathe radon that may be trapped in your home for a long enough time you may develop lung cancer. Thus far, lung cancer is the only form of cancer caused by radon and it maybe the second leading cause of lung cancer in this country.

Will you be one of many people to develop lung cancer because of radon exposure?

We certainly hope not! According to the cancer.gov the most common cause of lung cancer is caused by smoking. Again radon appears to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It is estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 deaths from lung cancer per year are related to radon according to cancer.gov.

The majority of deaths is related to a combination of both cigarette smoking and radon gas. This number is greater than those that are exposed to just higher levels of radon that don’t smoke. There fore, smoking increases your risk of developing lung cancer when exposed to elevated radon levels.

How did scientists figure out the role radon plays in causing you lung cancer?

It became notable because underground miners died at substantially higher rates than other groups from lung cancer. Further studies seem to confirm that animals that are exposed to radon develop higher rates of tumor growth.

What was learned about lung cancer and radon gas?

There is a general consensus that radon causes cancer in humans. Recent research of people with lung cancer shows more people are ill from homes that higher levels of radon. It is safely concluded, you are more at risk of getting lung cancer if your home has higher levels of radon.

822 people in Georgia may die of cancer on average each year according to an article in the AJC dated Feb. 26th 2010. The article later stated, “The EPA has drawn a red splash on its Georgia radon map, showing that homes, schools and businesses in the metro area’s four core counties – DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb – are at highest risk for elevated radon levels.”

There have been studies conducted all over the world about people perhaps just like you having higher radon levels in their home and getting lung cancer. There are inconsistencies between studies. Partly due to small sizes of some studies, different levels of radon in homes and determining exposure levels over time.

Studies here in the United States combined with our Canadian neighbors gives our researchers’ better analysis. As a result, thousands of people were analyzed. It was determined to be a slight increase in the risk of getting lung cancer due to exposure to household radon. The studies on underground miners and household radon levels were consistent.

How can you know if your home has elevated level of radon?

You must test your home to determine if it has higher levels of radon. Definitely, test a home for radon before you buy. There are many factors like soil conditions, how radon enters the house and other factors that make each house unique. Just because your neighbor’s home tested fine does not mean your home does not have higher levels of radon. Environmental factors such as precipitation, pressure and other factors can very radon levels from month to month and day to day. There are short term and long term kits available.

We recommend you use a short term kit before buying your next home for a general idea. A long term kit is a better choice in determining your unique risk factor. Short term kits generally run between 2 and 4 days. Long term kits on the other hand runs over 90 days. Contacting a local Home Inspector that test for radon can help you in determining what’s best for your unique situation.

It is recommended by the EPA that any radon levels above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) action should be taken. Using the EPA estimates, and a formula of the total number of homes by the average number of homes with elevated radon, there are over 12,000 homes in Atlanta alone that has elevated radon. There maybe over 215,000 homes in Georgia that could have elevated radon levels. An estimated 5,000 deaths per year can be eliminated by reducing radon levels in homes that exceed the EPA’s action level of 4.0.

Contact a home inspector today and have your home tested for radon. Radon mitigation can be performed. Radon mitigation maybe costly; averaging around $800.00 to $2,500.00 according to cancer.gov, that’s an average cost of $1,200.00. The cost of dying by cancer is your other alternative.

Accurate Home Inspections provides answers to health and safety. They have articles and videos from sources like the EPA, CDC and more. Protecting your health should be your number one priority. Learn More About Radon From Accurate Home Inspections

Author: Jack Manns
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Protect Your Family From Radon Gas

Radon gas is an invisible, odorless gas emitted by uranium decaying underground. Harmless outdoors, radon can seep into your home through the ground and accumulate: at high concentrations, this radiation can be extremely dangerous. In fact, radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause in smokers. Protect your home and family from this unseen menace with radon testing and, if necessary, radon mitigation.

Radon Testing

Radon testing is an easy, straightforward process. A charcoal canister is used to collect radon gas from your home, usually over the course of approximately 48 hours. During the testing period, it’s important to keep all doors and windows closed for the most precise readings. At the conclusion of the testing period, the canister is sent to a lab to measure the accumulated radon concentration. Simple as that. Do-it-yourself kits are readily available, although you may want to consider having a professional administer your test for optimal accuracy. Because your test results will be the basis of future action (either none because levels appear safe or an expensive radon mitigation) it’s important to have the best readings possible. That way you’ll be able to make an informed decision about what the next steps should be.

Radon Mitigation

If your test does report unsafe levels of radon, you need to address the problem ASAP. You’ll need to contact your local specialist: They will be able to design and install the right radon reduction system for your home. Depending on the construction of your home, there are several different options. The most common are sub-slab depressurization (for homes with basements) and sub-membrane depressurization (for homes with crawlspaces).

Sub-slab depressurization entails drilling a small hole in the floor of the foundation slab and excavating a slight cavity below. Then, a pump is connected to the hole and the radon (and any other organic contaminants) is vacuumed out of the ground before it has a chance to leak into your home. These gases are vented outside, where the radon can disperse harmlessly. Sub-membrane depressurization is similar to sub-slab depressurization, but because there is no slab, a membrane is installed over the floor of the crawlspace to trap the radon. The gas is extracted in a similar fashion and vented outside.

Because radon mitigation is not a one-size-fits-all process, this really is not a job for DIYers; from targeting the entry point to creating a complete seal, professionals have the knowledge, expertise, and skill to ensure your family will be safe.

Radon Resistant New Construction

If you live in an area with a known radon problem and are building a new home, you may want to consider radon resistant construction. These preemptive measures prevent the radon from ever entering your home, stopping the problem before it begins! The techniques are the same as for mitigation, but because your home is not being retrofitted the system can be more efficient as well as unobtrusive. For example, vent stacks are installed internally as the building is constructed, hiding this potential eyesore while still completely venting any radon gas. Talk to your contractor about whether radon resistant new construction is needed for your house.

Just like your home isn’t safe without working smoke detectors, if you haven’t tested for radon you’re taking a risk! Let professional radon contractors bring you safety and peace of mind with complete radon testing and mitigation. If you’re looking for a trustworthy technician in your area, organizations like the American Association of Radon Specialists and Technologists (AARST) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) can help you find a qualified professional.

Matt Gallo is a home improvement specialist and the Internet marketing manager for Prospect Genius, a leading provider of online, local advertising solutions.

Author: Matt Gallo
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Understanding the Risks of Lung Cancer and What Causes It

Have a look at the risk elements:

Smoking:

Cigarette smoking is the first cause of lung cancer. 90 % of this cancer type cases happen in humans who smoke. The more cigarets you smoke, the greater your risk of getting it. Cigarette smoke carries over 4,000 chemicals, many of which are verified to be cancer causing substances named carcinogens. Carcinogens induces permanent damage to your body’s desoxyribonucleic acid cells and raise the chance of cancerous change.

Radon inspiration: Radon (Rn) is a gas not perceived by sight, taste, or smell. Radon is the 2nd most popular cause of cancer. Radon gas causes between fifteen and twenty thousands lung cancer dyings each year in the U.S.A..

Workplace chemicals
Humans (mine workers, plumbers, and shipbuilders) who are unprotected to certain workplace materials, such as asbestos, have a greater risk of lung cancer because inspired fibers and dust can become integrated in the lung cells, causing a chronic unhealthy reaction that can sooner or later result in cancerous cell changes.

Secondary smoke
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has categorized second-hand smoke as a known cause of cancer in people. Second-hand smoke is also known as environmental tobacco smoke and is categorized as any mixture of smoke given off by the lighted end of a cigarette, cigar, pipe, or smoke expired from a smoker’s lungs. Second-hand smoke is responsible for about 3.400 lung cancer deaths in the United States. every year. Many of the carcinogens in second-hand smoke include methanal, benzol, vinyl chloride, arsenous oxide, ammonium hydroxide, and hydrogen cyanide. These factors have an straightaway effect on your circulatory system.

Age
As with several cancers, your risk for producing lung cancer increases with age. The longer you smoke and the more cigarets you smoke, the higher your chances of getting cancer. Less than 1 % of cancer cases happen in people under age forty. The evolution of lung cancer raise thereafter, with the common patient age at diagnosis around sixty.

Angelica Burger also writes reviews and guides for Hardtail yoga pants and Gutter Cleaning Tools

Author: Angelica Burger
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Lung Cancer Everything You Need to Know!

This article aims to offer you information on the causes of lung cancer as well as the different types of lung cancer.

Mesothelioma, a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, is one of the rare type of lung cancers, with around 2,000 new cases being registered in the United States annually. The majority of the people who are afflicted by this form are those who were employed at some time or the other in asbestos factories and who invariably inhaled the toxic asbestos fumes. More appropriately called asbestos lung cancer, mesothelioma symptoms manifest themselves sometimes as much as 30 to 40 years after the asbestos inhalation.

Although smoking does not necessarily increase the risks of contracting Mesothelioma, it could aggravate the existing problem by causing other cancers in the air passages leading to the lungs. If you are a smoker and if you did work around asbestos at any time, it could possibly complicate your mesothelioma treatment.

Regular lung cancer, one of the most prevalent of all types of cancers all around the world is primarily caused by smoking. Secondary causes include inhalation of second-hand smoke as well as the gas radon.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers; so much so, a national health advisory concerning radon was issued by the US surgeon general in 2005. The carcinogenic effects of radon have been proven beyond a doubt.

Lung cancer is categorized into small cell and non-small cell depending on the size.

Small cell lung cancer

This form of lung cancer grows very fast and spreads rapidly. The only thing to be grateful for is that it is not as prevalent as the other form, which is the non-small type. There are different methods of treatment depending on the circumstances.

Small cell lung cancer is detected with the help of an X-ray machine in addition to physical examinations, sputum tests and laboratory tests. A medical professional will also use a bronchoscope to get a detailed look inside the lungs. Despite huge medical advances in the treatment of cancer, there is yet no cure found for this type of cancer.

Non-small lung cancer

The detection of non-small lung cancer employs much the same methods as those of small. In addition it also uses Positron Emission Topography (PET) and CAT scans to locate the exact positions of the tumors.

Some of the more common symptoms of non-small lung caner include breathing difficulties, persistent coughing, presence of blood in the sputum, chest pains, loss of appetite and an overall run-down feeling.

The risk factor for lung cancer increases with age; it is very rare to see a youth suffering from this disease.

As with most other types of cancer, early detection is the key to successful treatment. In view of this, it is imperative for anyone who suspects they experiencing some of the symptoms associated with the disease to get a check up as soon as possible.

Lung Cancer

Author: Sandy Griffin
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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An HVAC Service Can Be a Life-Saver

When some people hear the words HVAC service, they automatically think of the heating and cooling aspects of the system and rightfully so. Both of these aspects are extremely important. Being in the middle of a snow storm in December, without a properly functioning heating unit can be miserable. The same can be said for the warmer months. Without direct access to an air conditioning unit during the hot summer months can be unbearable and even dangerous. Although these are both vital aspects that an HVAC service provides, there is another feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. That is the ventilation feature.

Proper ventilation may not necessarily bring comfort during extremely cold or hot months, but it still plays a vital role in people’s homes; or in any building for that matter. In every home, there are things that emit gases that can be harmful to those inside. For instance, radon gases and carbon monoxide can seep out from under the floorboards. Some of the symptoms of radon gas inhalation are chest pain, wheezing and a bad cough. This gas is even believed to be the number one cause of lung cancer in those that don’t even smoke. So, not only can it cause annoying symptoms, it can even lead to death. Carbon Monoxide is another toxic gas that can cause symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and a bad headache. Most of all, it can lead to death, similar to prolonged exposure to radon gases.

Without the adequate amount of ventilation that an HVAC service professional can provide, homeowners are left to deal with the consequences of these dangerous chemicals.

Paint is another thing that can cause issues in a home that is not properly ventilated. The dangers aren’t necessarily prevalent after the paint has dried. However, if someone is in the process of painting the walls in their home, proper ventilation is a must. It’s not that the fumes are as dangerous as carbon monoxide and radon gases. However, it can still cause symptoms such as memory loss, dizziness and respiratory irritation.

One of the worse things about fumes and toxic gases is the fact that they tend to be odorless, colorless and invisible. So, homeowners would never know if they are in their homes until it’s too late or they have a professional come out and run tests.

So, an HVAC service does more than just provide heat in the winter and cold air during the summer. However, they provide a form of ventilation that keeps everyone in the home safe from toxic chemicals. Without proper ventilation, a homeowner is putting everyone who lives in their home at risk of respiratory issues and even premature death.

For top-notch HVAC service bay area  residents have an experienced company to call. Find the technicians who can help you:  http://www.qualtechhvac.com.

Author: Antoinette Ayana
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Pros & Cons of Various House Foundations

Slab, Crawlspace or Basement? When building a new home, which foundation is the best choice? I offer the pros & cons of the typical three choices.

Slab:

Pros:
– Least expensive to build
– No moisture/humidity to deal with under sub-floor
– Easy access for handicapped or senior persons, since very close to ground level

Cons:
– Hard surface, takes a toll on your body/joints
– Difficult to run additional wires/pipes
– HVAC typically located in the attic (unconditioned space)
– A leak in a water supply line in the slab is very expensive to fix
– Entrance at ground level, not as eye appealing
– High likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)
– More prone to wood destroying insect issues, since close to ground

Crawlspace:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– Easy access for repairs
– Less likely to have a radon issue (on ventilated crawlspaces)

Cons:
– Moisture issues (water & humidity) are a major issues, creates fungus growth & rot
– Easy access for unwanted pests
– HVAC in unconditioned space

Basement:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Easy access for repairs
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– HVAC is located in conditioned space (more energy efficient)
– Additional storage/workshop
– Inexpensive additional square footage, can be finished at a later time
– Increased re-sale value of home & increased buyer appeal
– You can build on a sloping grade
– Provides shelter during extreme weather (tornado’s, hurricane’s, etc)

Cons:
– Most expensive to build (compared to a slab or crawlspace)
– Need a sloping lot to build a walkout basement
– Higher likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)

Mac has remodeled many old homes, been employed in several different construction trades & is a major do-it-yourselfer. He currently owns a home inspection company and has been inspecting homes for many years which is where my experience is most relevant to the proper way to build a home. To learn more about building your dream home, visit my website, http://www.house-building-tips.net

Author: Mac Barlow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Strategies to Sell Your House Yourself – Pay Close Attention to Experts & Ignore Them at Your Peril!

When you are trying to sell your house yourself, you may have dispensed the services of an agent, but you should heed the advice given by other professionals. Prior to putting your home on the market, you will need the services of a professional inspector. Get your inspector to thoroughly examine your home and pick up valuable tips that could mean the difference between success and failure.

One of the major things to be aware of when selling your house yourself is the property’s electrical wiring. The last thing you want is for all your sale profits to go towards the cost of a lawyer because faulty wiring caused serious damage to your home.

All experts will mention the radon test to you. If your home has high levels of radon, this can be easily fixed. Plus this is a huge plus point for potential buyers. For the most accurate results, you should have a thorough radon test and then do a retest afterward. Mention this to buyers when they visit.


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Do you desperately need to know How To Sell Your House Yourself?

To learn exactly what others are doing in your situation then Click Here and grab your Free Report.

Author: Sam Renstaff
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Be Confident in the Safety of Your Home With the Help of Professional Radon Testing

Instances of radon gas in homes are serious health and safety issues. Professional radon contractors can accurately detect radon levels in your home and, if they find a problem, can implement a radon mitigation solution appropriate to the situation.

Radon is a heavy gas created by the breakdown of uranium and is present in homes throughout the United States. Most of us have heard about radon gas and the danger it poses, but few people take appropriate steps to accurately evaluate or address the issue. This is largely because radon is not visible or tangible-it’s easy to ignore that there might be a problem. Nonetheless, radon is a serious danger, especially in parts of the country designated as “red zones” by the EPA. The only way to truly know if radon is an issue in your home is to employ a professional to thoroughly test the property. If they do find elevated radon levels, these experts will be able to work with you to design a radon mitigation system specifically for your home, dissipating the gas and making your home safe in the long term.

The presence of radon gas in your home should be serious safety concern. Radon usually seeps into buildings through the ground. A low level of radon is harmless, but if the radon gets trapped inside, the level becomes more concentrated and can contribute to the development of lung cancer, as well as cause harm to childrens’ developing lungs. There are a number of DIY radon detection kits on the market, but these products can be difficult to use effectively and are unlikely to provide complete detection service. If you are serious about doing radon testing, you should locate a radon contractor in your area. These professionals have the tools, experience, and expertise to evaluate your entire home with appropriate detection equipment. Not only will they be able to find out if radon is an issue, but they will also be able to accurately tell you in what concentration it is present.

If you find out that your home does contain dangerous levels of radon, your local radon contractors will also be able to safely and effectively address the problem. Each home and each radon occurrence is different, so it is essential that your radon mitigation plan is tailored to your specific situation. With hands-on knowledge and experience at their disposal, radon experts will be able to design a radon abatement program that targets the exact problem present in your home. The primary component of most radon mitigation systems involves locating the entry point for the radon (often at the basement level). The radon contractors then create a seal between the ground and your home and install a pump to vent the radon out into the atmosphere where it can dissipate. Radon experts will be able to perform such services completely and effectively, insuring long-term protection for you and your family.

Nothing is worse than knowing that there is a potential danger in your home, like radon gas, that you can’t see and can’t fix. Call on professional radon contractors to ease this worry. They will be able to perform the necessary radon test to find out if radon levels are dangerous in your house. If there is a problem, they’ll be able to eradicate it and make your home a safe haven once again.

Rebecca Paul is a homeowner and an Internet marketer for Prospect Genius, a leader in online local advertising.

Author: Rebecca Paul
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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