Category Archives: Radon on the Web

Informative articles about radon mitigation gathered from around the web

Radon Health Dangers

Radon is a colorless, tasteless naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from uranium deposits in the ground. Radon enters the home through the home’s foundation or well water. Although naturally occurring, the indoor levels of radon vary widely across the United States and from house to house. Studies show that any level of radon over 0.4 pCi/L increases the risk for lung cancer. People who have smoked are at an even higher risk. Some homes have extremely high levels of radon when a house next door may not have any. Because radon dissipates quickly concentrations of radon gas outdoors are negligible.

People who are exposed to high levels of radon over a prolonged period of time often develop lung cancer. Early symptoms of radon exposure are coughing, wheezing, heavy breathing, and infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. Symptoms of radon gas exposure are often not recognized until a serious condition has been diagnosed.

Testing is an important instrument used to determine radon gas levels. Using a reputable and experienced test facility is important. Look for a facility that has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) Also, taking at least two tests in different parts of the house gives a more accurate reading. One of the test sites should be the master bedroom since so many people spend the majority of their time at home sleeping. Doing the tests midsummer and midwinter will give you a good average of levels in your home. Also, don’t forget to send in a water sample if your water comes from a source other than a public water service.

If your test results come back with higher than normal levels of radon there is no reason to panic. It is easy to lower levels of radon gas with proper ventilation and water filtration. Setting up fans and circulating air will lower levels quickly. Certain parts of your house will be more prone to have higher levels. Basements are more likely to have higher level due to their proximity to the ground.

Do not use basements as living space unless correct ventilation is installed. Sealing any cracks or openings in the basement is especially important. If you have high levels of radon in your water a charcoal filtration system along with proper aeration will dispel any gas in the water. High priced radon mitigation companies will try and sell you all sort of gadgets but the average consumer can lower radon levels with a few common sense techniques.

Bryan Sims writes about various topics including health issues and product information for the online audience. Find information about the newest website at http://www.wallmountforlcdtv.net/ which helps people find super saver deals on Peerless TV mounts and more information about various types of wall mounts for televisions.

Author: Bryan Sims
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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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Planning For Radon Mitigation in Your New Home

The prevalence of Radon Gas in the soils in areas around the United States is an issue of growing concern. Radon has been deemed the number 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in a study done at the University of Iowa.

If your planned home is in an area of higher risk, you should plan early on to install a Radon Mitigation System. In many areas now, a test is required with each real-estate transaction regarding residential properties and this will probably expand to include most of the higher risk areas. In any event, your health is well worth the small investment to install such a system.

Installing the basics of the system in a Basement or Slab-On-Grade Foundation consists of inserting a perforated pipe below the slab in crushed rock and stubbing up a connector into the basement. Venting this pipe to the exterior (away from any windows in your house or your neighbors, preferably up through the roof), constitutes what is known as a Passive Radon Mitigation System. If , after your house is complete, a test determines that levels are still too high, you may have to convert to an Active Radon Mitigation System by installing a fan than runs continuously which creates low pressure under the slab and increases the rate of gas evacuation. So you will want to have the slab penetration in an area that is readily accessible and has electric available to power the fan.

Radon gas is found in varying levels in almost all regions of the country. Visit the EPA’s Radon Map Zone at the following link.

Radon Map Zone Areas in Pink pose the highest risk followed by Orange and Yellow. Click here to check the specific risk level in your county.

Many times the fan is located in the attic, particularly if your foundation is slab-on-grade or crawl space. Also remember that you will want to make sure that the vent through the roof does not allow water to fall down the pipe to the slab below, this would not be a good thing for several reasons.

Designing and installing the infrastructure for a passive system can be accomplished for about $150 to $300. this will save you 150-300% of the cost of retrofitting. An Active systems will add $ 250-$550 depending on the size of your home. Download Build Radon Out.  Your radon system is a simple task but it does require planning to complete the installation in your new home without incurring significantly higher costs.

Author: Randy Covington
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Deadly High Radon Gas Levels – 3 Signs Your Home Has Them

How to determine if your Home has High Radon Gas Levels

Radon gas results from decomposition of of naturally-occurring uranium in the ground. Radon collects in attics and cellars through cracks in the floor or walls. Here are my 3 best tips when it comes to radon testing and mitigation:

1) There are affordable home radon testing kits available today. This is the best first step in detecting high radon levels in your home.

2) Symptoms of high radon gas levels include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing up blood, and respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Unfortunately, detecting radon without proper testing kits and no symptoms is that the gas is colorless and odorless. This is where radon got the name “the silent killer.”

3) Because radon comes from decaying uranium, those who live near uranium mines should be especially vigilant in their testing and mitigation efforts. Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days, which means that when detected, prevailing radon can be quickly eliminated. Ventilating your of home and sealing off cracks in the basement, walls, and floors is your best bet. In particular, you should check for cracked seals in basement floors and ceilings.

Preventing High Radon Gas Levels in your Home

The best way to avoid being harmed by high radon gas levels is to prevent exposure. Prevention primarily takes two forms:

1) Ventilation. Ensure that you have proper ventilation throughout your house. Invest in some ceiling and attic fans, and open doors and windows to get a cross-breeze through the home whenever possible.

2) Sealing cracks. Seal off any cracks in the floors that could possibly introduce radon into your home. Use a zero-permeability barrier to keep radon gas outside your living areas.

These steps will increase your family’s protection against radon poisoning. However, if you test your home and find out that levels are extremely high, it is best to contact a radon mitigation professional to handle the job.

Jeff Frobark works for Vetter Electric, certified NJ electrical contractors with 15+ years experience. Get tons of free information about radon treatment and NJ circuit breaker maintenance at their website.

Author: Jeff Frobark
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Linked With Cancer: How to Ensure Your Home is Radon-Free

Radon is responsible for at least 15,000 to 20,000 getting lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. In fact, radon exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. This tragedy is compounded by the fact that both radon testing and radon mitigation are simple and inexpensive. While nationally 1 in 15 homes may show dangerous levels of radon, the average levels in many parts of the mid-Atlantic may be two to three times higher than this. There are no immediate symptoms of radon exposure and you cannot see, taste, feel, or smell radon. Cancer can show up five to 25 years after exposure and about 12% of lung cancer diagnoses are caused by radon.

Where Radon Comes From

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the soil. It is a byproduct of uranium decay. Radon can be found in-new homes, older homes, homes in need of repair, homes without basements; there is no pattern. Your neighbor’s home might be radon-free, while your home has dangerous levels. Radon can come from the ground beneath a home, well water, and various building materials. The only way to know is to test your home, which can be done for less than $30 with a simple kit available at most hardware stores.

Before Buying a Home:

  • Ask the seller for a copy of the home’s radon test results. If the home has not been tested, ask your home inspector to include a radon test in his report.
  • Make sure that the Radon Testing Checklist items were met.
  • Make sure that the last test was recent, at least within the past 2 years.
  • Make sure that the seller has performed the test in the lowest, livable level of the house. This usually means the basement, but if the home has no basement, test in the lowest level of the house.
  • Ask that the home be tested again if any changes have been made to the home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system since the last test was done.
  • Should you decide to renovate an unfinished part of the home, test for radon before work begins. It is much easier to install a radon system in an unfinished room. If your test results are close to the EPA action level (4.0 pCi/l), test the space again after work is completed.

When renovating an unfinished part of a home or building a new home, look to minimize radon presence.

To Minimize Radon When Building a New Home:

  • The integrity of the slab should be maintained at all times.
  • Sump pits need to be installed with a sealed cover.
  • Use a gas tight radon drain for all floor drains.
  • When framing, run a radon vent pipe from the basement to the high part of the attic. This pipe should not be to close to the attic eaves, so that a radon fan can be easily added at a later date if needed.
  • If a sump pump is not required for the basement or if the construction is slab on grade, have drain tile looped around the perimeter of the inside of the foundation and have it terminate with a 3 inch PVC “rough in.” A 3″ PVC vent pipe is sufficient for spaces that are less than 2,000 square feet. Use a 4″ PVC “rough in” and a 4″ PVC vent pipe for spaces larger than 2,000 square feet.

How to Measure Radon

Homeowners can test for radon themselves. Order a radon test kit and when finished, make sure to return the radon test to the laboratory with all the required information filled out. Be sure to follow the test kit instructions to the letter. One of the most common mistakes is over or under exposing the devices. A radon test result of 4 picocuries (a picocurie is one trillionth of a curie and measures radioactivity) per liter or higher is considered to be a high radon level. The average radon level in homes is 1.3pCi/L and .4pCi/L outdoors. The 1.3 pCi/l national average includes homes in many regions that do not have radon issues. Keep in mind that the 4.0 pCi/l standard was established as a matter of practicality, not safety. EPA officials at the time were unsure whether the technology and methods employed in 1984 were capable of reducing radon levels further. Recent studies show a significant risk of lung cancer when exposed at levels between 2 and 4 pCi/l. EPA recommends reducing radon levels to below 2pCi/l if possible.

If your home does have Radon

Costs to hire a radon removal professional to lower radon levels average about $800 to $1,200. Homes with crawl spaces or without gravel under the slab cost more. Many radon removal configurations exist and include sub slab depressurization (SSD), SSD with a crawl space, and air exchangers. The work required for a successful radon mitigation are beyond the skills of most untrained homeowners.

What to Consider When Hiring a Radon Abatement or Mitigation Firm

  • Ask to see proof of their certifications from National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and/or the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB).
  • Contractors must also be licensed as home-improvement contactors in each state they wish to work. The District of Columbia is an exception in the case of radon work.
  • Make sure the contractor is fully insured.
  • Have them describe all of the work they will be doing.
  • Sign a contract and see that it includes all promises that were made verbally.
  • Don’t pay for work until it is complete. Down payments are rarely required.
  • Ask for at least a 20-year transferable warranty.

Radon Abatement Services is a radon mitigation contractor [http://www.radonrepair.com/mitigation/] serving the greater Maryland, DC, and Virginia region. Contact them online for help with lowering radon levels [http://www.radonrepair.com/contact.html]. Call 301-718-6200 or visit their website at http:// http://www.radonrepair.com/ for more information.

Author: Robin Meyer
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Ranting and Raving About Radon

Radon has been all over the news as of late. While many people have heard about it, very few actually know what it is. Where does it come from? What makes it so dangerous? How can one detect it? Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

Radon is a highly toxic, odorless, colorless gas. It is a naturally occurring substance derived from the decay of uranium, normally found in earth and rock beneath your home. It has also been discovered in well water, and in certain building materials.

In recent times, Radon has been definitively linked with lung cancer. According to the EPA, Radon is a radioactive gas that has been identified as a leading cause of lung cancer, second only to cigarette smoking in the United States. The EPA estimates that Radon is responsible for over 20,000 deaths annually.

Testing for Radon in your home is relatively simple and inexpensive. A number of companies have developed detection systems, similar in many ways to traditional smoke detectors. Another option is to have your home tested by a certified Radon detection technician. The website for the EPA has extensive listings of qualified technicians throughout the United States.

If dangerous levels of Radon are detected in your home or business, immediate action must be taken. Radon levels can be reduced through a process called mitigation, which can include a number of different techniques. Soil suction is one such method. It works by suctioning radon from beneath your home, and venting it through pipes to the outside. Another method that is frequently used is called house pressurization. It works by using fans to create air pressure differences, and thus deters radon from entering your home.

As Radon is a naturally occurring substance, it would make sense to give your home a thorough inspection for possible entry points. Cracks or gaps in the foundation of your home, or drafty windows can be considered entry points and should be treated as such. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Have your home tested for tested for Radon today.

Christopher King is an environmental consultant and a member of Greenpeace. When he is not trying to save the whales from the humans, he is trying to save the humans from themselves. In his spare time, Chris writes for purityplanet.com – an excellent source of information about Radon detection [http://www.purityplanet.com/radon-detectors.aspx], Water purification [http://www.purityplanet.com/water-filters-and-purification.aspx], Ionization [http://www.purityplanet.com/ionizers.aspx] and more.

Author: Christopher King
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Home Inspection Tips – Lowering Radon Levels

It’s possible a home inspection will reveal the existence of radon gas seeping up through the ground into the living area of the home you want to buy. Radon is known for causing lung cancer, so you don’t want it around. What can you do to decrease the seriousness of the problem? In other words, what do you do to mitigate the radon threat?

Radon resistant techniques can be simple and passive and will lower radon levels when done properly. They can lower levels of moisture and other soil gasses, too. Radon resistant techniques have the additional benefit of making your home more energy efficient and can help you save on energy costs. Save money when a home is first built by not having to deal with the problem later if these techniques are put into place with common building materials.

Even in a new home, radon testing should be done to be sure the level is below 4 pCi/L. If radon levels are high, a passive system can be turned into what’s called an active system by adding a vent fan to reduce radon levels.

You’ll need to find someone who is considered to be a qualified radon mitigator to install radon resistant techniques, whether your home is new or not. Costs will vary, but should be similar to other home repairs you may need to have done.

What are these radon resistant techniques? It’s important to note that this depends on your home’s foundation. Also, if you’re having a house built, ask your builder if they’re using EPA’s recommended approach.

The first radon resistant technique of note is a gas-permeable layer, which is used only in homes with casement and slab-on-grade foundations. It is not used in homes with crawlspace foundations. It usually consists of a four inch layer of clean gravel placed under the slab or flooring system. It’s meant to allow the gas to move freely under the house. Plastic sheeting is placed on top of the gas permeable layer and under the slab to help prevent the soil gas from getting into the home

When a home has crawl spaces, plastic sheeting is placed over the crawlspace floor. This serves as a moisture barrier as well.

Sealing and caulking is another technique. Any below-grade openings in the concrete foundation floor are sealed to reduce the amount of soil gases getting into the home.

When there’s a gas-permeable layer under the home, a vent pipe is put into the gravel and runs through the house and to the roof to vent gases away from the living area. The pipe used is a 3- or 4-inch gas-tight or PVC pipe, or other gas-tight pipe.

If it’s necessary to use a vent fan to reduce high radon levels, an electrical junction box is included in the attic to make the wiring and installation of a vent fan easier. A separate junction box is put in the living space to power the vent fan alarm. That’s because an alarm is installed along the vent fan to indicate when that fan isn’t operating properly.

Your home inspector or other qualified radon mitigation professional should know the best place to put radon test equipment. It should go into the lowest level of the home that’s occupied regularly, such as any place used as a bedroom, play or exercise area, den or workshop. The EPA says testing should not be done in a closet, stairway, hallway, crawl space or in an enclosed area where there’s either high humidity or breezy air circulation. Avoid places like the kitchen, laundry room,bathroom or furnace room.

There’s no way to accurately know the level of radon in the home you’re building, buying or selling unless radon testing is done. Be sure your home inspector or other qualified professional can do the testing for you. You don’t have to put your family’s health at risk from radon.

You’ve carefully selected the home you’re buying. Make sure you’re as careful when selecting your home inspector. Don’t get stuck paying for repairs missed by a quick home inspection. Author David Haigh is a professional home inspector in NJ. Click now to view a free sample report of a New Jersey home inspection.

Author: David Haigh
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Remediation Explained

One of the major health hazards and Radon dangers that are often present in an invisible, odorless as well as tasteless manner is the presence of Radon in a building which is a danger that needs to be removed and eliminated without delay if you don’t want to end up suffering from lung cancer. Mostly, radon gets into a building through the floor and to reduce the risks you can either try or prevent the Radon gas from entering the building, or you can extract it from the building.

The best Radon remediation technique is the one that addresses a particular instance of Radon presence in the building, and so you may need to choose one or combination of methods to get rid of Radon in the home. However, the easiest way is preventive Radon remediation for which you would need to seal all gaps and cracks as well as the joints under the building’s floors. For this method to succeed, you need to ensure that you can seal everything so that no Radon gas can enter into the home.

You can also use extractive Radon remediation techniques, which are sometimes known as soil suction and which is a very common method of remediation in which you need to make use of cavities that are of the size of a bucket and which are called sumps. These cavities can be connected to a pipe network that leads out of the building. Furthermore, the sump helps in changing pressure differentials between the interior of the building and its exterior through lowering the pressure in the building’s exterior. With the help of a fan, the air below the building is sent into a pipe system and thus extracted out of the building.

This may be a slightly more expensive Radon remediation technique, but it is certainly very effective and thus well worth choosing.

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Author: Charles Berkley
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Remove Radon Gas From Your Home – 7 Secrets to Save You Thousands

When uranium in American soil decomposes, it creates radon. This is bad news for families when the gas seeps in through the cracks of your basement and floorboards. Too much exposure can lead to lung cancer, and radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. Annually.

When radon levels in a house are too high, I have seen people reduce them by 90%+ just using the simple steps in this guide. If you do it right, you can avoid exposing yourself to high levels of radon in the process.

1. Get a commercial radon testing kit and see how high your levels are.

2. If the levels are 4x the safe levels in your state or more, stop right there. Google a “radon mitigation professional” in your area and have him come do the work. It’s simply not worth the risk if the levels are that high.

3. Ensure that you’re getting enough air circulation through all the close and compact areas in your home, such as your basements and crawl spaces.

4. Aerate your home further with vents and fans. Put in ventilation fans in your home anywhere radon levels have accumulated and are particularly high. Open up all your chimney flues and make sure you let stale air waft out of the home by opening and closing doors.

5. Look for ways to generate cross-draft in your home by opening adjacent doors. For example, you may have a second doorway to your backyard through the kitchen. Open that door up and the front door. Put a fan facing out of your home in the direction of the cross-draft to get that stale air out of your home.

6. Seal off the cracks in your walls and floors. These gaps are your entry point for radon gas.

7. Seal off all open plumbing bores and seal your wall seam to the floor. Any area in your home that lacks a complete join is a candidate for sealing.

You want your family to live a long, healthy life, and so do we. Make sure your home is radon-free with these DIY radon mitigation techniques. Remember, if you cannot reduce your radon levels dramatically by yourself, make sure you get a professional. Ignoring radon will NOT make it go away.

Jeff Frobark works for Vetter Electric, certified NJ electrical contractors with 15+ years experience. Get tons of free information about radon treatment and NJ circuit breaker maintenance at their website.

Author: Jeff Frobark
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Mitigation

If you’ve done a radon test and the results came back showing that the level is higher than 4 PCi/L, then you definitely need to install a radon mitigation system. Usually this system keeps the gas concentration to lower levels that cannot be harmful. In fact, it lowers the levels up to 2 PCi/L. Interestingly, If you later decide to sell the house installed with this system, the price will be definitely tangible.

Basically, it would be best to inquire from an expert opinion before installing any radon mitigation system. However, if you choose not to, then you ought to consider certain criteria. For instance, the type of foundation and the design of the house. Here you’ll find that there are houses that have a simple space under the first floor, some with concrete-poured on the ground level, some that combine these two foundation designs, others with a crawl space and half a slab-on-grade etc.

Whichever the design of your house, there are several procedures that may be required to achieve radon mitigation. Generally, you can opt for prevention by using special devices that may prevent radon from entering the house or you can choose to lower the gas concentration. Installing underground fans, radon contractors, sealing cracks and openings in the walls etc, are some of the measures you can undertake to control radon.

Such things as the soil type beneath the house, foundation design and so on, are some of the special diagnostic tests that should be done before you start on the radon process. Nevertheless, it would be better and wise to talk to the team in charge of the whole procedure and analyze every detail together.

Peter Gitundu Creates Interesting And Thought Provoking Content on Radon. For More Information, Read More Of His Articles Here RADON POISONING If You Enjoyed This Article, Make Sure You SUBSCRIBE TO MY RSS FEED!

Author: Peter Gitundu
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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