Tag Archives: radon mitigation

Radon Testing – How to Test and Remove Dangerous Radon Gas

Radon gas dangers in the home have become more prevalent, and can affect homeowners before radon is detected. Consider the story of Stanley, a nuclear power company employee from Pennsylvania. One day he arrived at work and the radiation monitors at the plant screamed an alarm. The experts were puzzled–how could Stan set off an alarm on his way in to work? The answer to this question brought to light one of the biggest environmental concerns of our time: Radon. It turns out Stan’s house had radon gas levels more than 500 times what was considered safe and Stan had carried the effects into work. Stan desperately needed a radon mitigation system to save himself and the health of his family.

What is Radon?

Radon is not an industrial chemical or synthetic creation. It occurs naturally when uranium in the soil breaks down, as do all organic compounds. If inhaled, radon can cause damage to lung tissues and can lead to lung cancer.

Although radon has been around since the dawn of time, it’s become a problem in the last 20 years or so, since the energy crisis led to the construction tighter more energy efficient homes. Years ago, when energy was cheap, homes were much draftier, and these built-in air leaks helped dilute indoor contaminants like radon to safe levels. However, as energy costs rose and home construction became tighter, indoor radon levels have also risen. Today, we need to pay close attention to our indoor air environment to make sure the air stays healthy and free of radon dangers.

Testing for radon gas is fairly simple. Within your own home, you can even do the test yourself. Many radon laboratories sell simple test kits, which usually come complete with a mailer to send the kit back to the company for analysis. However, if the house you’re testing is one you’re buying, some state laws require the test be done by a licensed radon testing company. Likewise, if your radon test reveals a high level of radon gas, a radon mitigation systems will be needed and should also be installed by an experience, licensed radon mitigation professional.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

How to do a Radon Test

All radon tests must be done in the basement or lowest livable level of the house and under closed building conditions. Except for normal entry and exit, this means all windows and doors, from the basement to the uppermost level of the house, must be closed for the entire test, which can be up to a week. While this may be difficult, especially in the summer, it is critical. If the windows are left open, a false high or low reading of radon dangers may result.

The most common types of radon gas tests are:

  • Charcoal Absorption Canister: This is the most common radon test available and usually the least expensive. The test consists of a charcoal-filled canister which is left in the home for a period of two to seven days. Then the test is sealed and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The lab will usually mail the result back to you within one week. This test method is relatively inexpensive and reliable if done properly. However, it can take up to three weeks from the start of the test until the result is received.
  • E-PERM Testing: E-PERM is short for Electret-Passive Environmental Radon Monitor. The way it works, however, is not as complicated as its name. As radon is formed, it gives off “ions” which produce a small electrical charge. The E-PERM is designed to measure the amount of electrical charge and convert this measurement into a radon level. Similar to charcoal canisters, this test for radon danger is usually done for two to seven days, but processing is much quicker as the testing company can usually produce a result within a day of the test completion.
  • Continuous Monitors: These devices are among the more expensive radon tests available but have several distinct advantages. Continuous monitors sample air over a minimum two-day period and can produce hourly radon readings. In addition to the test result being immediately available upon test completion, the hour-by-hour test result can be analyzed to check for unusual air patterns in the house. This test is often chosen by people buying a house to make sure the closed building condition requirement is met by the sellers.

Most importantly, if the radon test result comes in high, don’t panic. Most buildings can be modified to reduce radon gas to safe levels by installing a simple radon mitigation system. In newer buildings, partial radon mitigation systems are even required during construction, just in case they are needed later to reduce or eliminate radon dangers.

Tom Kraeutler is the Host, Founder and Chief Home Improvement Evangelist of The Money Pit. He is a hands-on home improvement broadcast journalist and the kind of guy homeowners want to call at midnight when their basement floods. He first earned his home improvement stripes as a professional home inspector, amassing over 20 years experience learning how houses are put together, and how they fall apart!

Author: Tom Kraeutler
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Benefits of electric pressure cooker

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
Humorous photo captions

How to Protect Your Family From Radon Gas Poisoning in Your Home

Radon gas poisoning kills many thousands of people every year. It is now the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Only smoking cigarettes causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your house has very high levels of radon gas, then your risk of lung cancer is much higher.

Radon is found throughout the United States. You can’t see, smell or taste it. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon gets into any building, home, office or school and can build to high levels of concentration.

The home is the most likely place to get radon poisoning because that’s where you spend most of your time. Radon from the soil is the main cause of radon poisoning, but it can also enter the house through well water.

The only way to know if you and your family are at risk of radon poisoning is to have your home tested for radon. The Environmental Protection Agency strongly recommends that all homes should be tested. Apartments and condos below the third floor should also be tested. It’s a very easy test that takes only a few minutes and is inexpensive to do. Millions of American homes have been tested for radon gas. Radon testing kits can be found online and in many hardware stores.

Contact your state officials for more information about radon in your area. Radon problems may be more common in some areas than others, but, any home can have a problem with radon gas. It’s a very good idea for home buyers and renters to ask about radon levels of the house before they buy or rent a home.

Most public water supplies do not have a radon problem, but if the air in your home has tested positive for radon gas and you have well water, you should have the water tested by a lab certified to measure radon in water.

There is no known safe level of radon gas. There can always be some level of risk. But, the risk can be lowered by sealing cracks in floors and walls. Simple systems of using fans can also help in reducing radon gas when it is found in the home. After any major renovations, the house should be retested again to make sure the levels have not increased.

Ira has been writing articles for over 11 years over a wide variety of subjects. Visit his latest website all about toilet paper holders which helps people find the best toilet paper storage and information they are looking for when remodeling their bathrooms.

Author: Ira Potts
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Anti-angiogenic Food

Why You Must Check Your Home For Radon

Give Yourself a Chance

Radon is widely known in the home improvement industry. It’s kind of one of those things that no one likes to discuss, because the danger is so surreal. You’ve probably heard of toxins being referred to as silent killers, and when it comes to radon; that’s no understatement.

Maybe you haven’t heard that much about radon or what you have heard has not been too convincing. Does radon seem to be some “new” thing that is going to cause cancer and end the world? Everything seems to cause cancer, but the trick is in knowing how to prevent cancer, before it begins. Not everything causes cancer. That way of thinking is just some comedian’s way to laugh-off the seriousness of so many people contracting this fatal disease. But, it’s real.

Radon is a proven carcinogen, and experts know more about radon than other carcinogens. So, if you were told to avoid a proven carcinogen, you know that you would. Please, this is important. Radon doesn’t smell, it doesn’t have a taste, and you can’t see it; there aren’t even any immediate symptoms. Radon has the ability to kill you without even giving you a chance to defend yourself, without even knowing, not even a rash! Radon is not only found in the air, but also in water, so be sure to have your well water tested for radon.

Although radon does not give you much of a chance to defend yourself or trace whether you have been exposed, radon testing and mitigation systems have been developed in order to measure the radon count in your home, school, or workplace. There are even ways to make these places almost 100 percent radon-free. Not only do you want the places where you spend the most time to have a low radon count, but you want it gone. Did you know that most people, who have cancer from radon exposure, did not get it because they were saturated in it; but because of a low radon concentration?

Don’t let radon fool you into thinking you won’t get sick, or that you and your loved ones have no way to protect yourselves. There are experts who know how to regulate radon levels, and provide you with the protection that you need.

Radon: Close-up and Close to Home

Radon is a radioactive gas that’s a proven carcinogen. It does not smell. It is invisible. You cannot taste it if you tried. Radon does not choose favorites; it’s found all over the U.S. and infects anyone in its midst. Although not everyone exposed will contract cancer, for those who are infected, the particles damage your lung tissue and will most likely cause cancer.

Where does it come from? Well, radon is the result of the natural breakdown of uranium and radium. Once these particles breakdown and turn from a solid into a gas, with every breath you breathe in, this toxic radon infiltrates your lungs and body.

According to the studies performed by Air Chek, Inc., Connecticut’s New Haven County has an average indoor radon level of 3.9 pCi/L, which is 2.6 pCi/L higher than the national average. About 27% of homes in New Haven County have over 4.0 pCi/L — the high danger level. But, even with a radon level of 2.0 pCi/L there is still a higher likelihood of getting cancer from radon than carcinogens in your water and food.

“We know that radon is a carcinogen. This research confirms that breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer,” said Tom Kelly, the director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Indoor Environments Division.

What’s Your Risk?

Radon causes about 15 percent of the world’s lung cancer cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO.) And the EPA has discovered that radon is to blame for about 21,000 of the annual lung cancer deaths.

You can increase the likelihood of contracting lung cancer from radon by not monitoring: the amount of radon in your home, how much time you spend at home, and your smoking habits.
According to the Surgeon General, if you mix high levels of radon with smoking, you are in the highest risk group to have lung cancer. Together, radon and smoking are considered the top two lung cancer causing agents.

The WHO has also concluded that radon is not just a local problem, but a worldwide health risk right inside your own home.

“Most radon-induced lung cancers occur from low and medium dose exposures in people’s homes. Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking in many countries,” said Dr. Maria Neira of the WHO.

The Only Thing to Do

You must have your home tested for radon. You must know that the radon specialists you call are trained, experienced, and the best in the industry. Otherwise, you’re putting your life in the hands of someone you can’t trust.

When it comes to radon mitigation in Connecticut, there’s no reason to go to anyone but the best. Connecticut Basement Systems Radon, Inc. is dedicated to offering its customers in CT, NY & MA only the finest and most cost-effective solutions for radon problems within your home.

Samantha Walton currently works as a web content writer for home improvement sites, and for a Basement System’s contractor whose expertise is in radon mitigation in Connecticut. She’s a college graduate with a B.A. in communication and a concentration in public relations. She’s aspiring to one day further her education with a seminary degree. Her experience ranges from internships in marketing and public relations, content writing for local television broadcasts, to writing and editing newsletters, fliers, and other content for her local church.

For a radon estimate in Connecticut contact Connecticut Basement Systems Radon toll free today at: 1-888-630-1018. CBSR has incomparable customer service, and has become one of the largest radon companies in the U.S. Not to mention, it’s the oldest radon company in Connecticut. They also offer well pumps and well water treatment!

CBSR is a member of the Better Business Bureau Reliability Program, Water Quality Association, National Radon Safety Board, American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, Connecticut Water Well Association, and the National Environmental Health Association.

Author: Samantha Walton
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Buying Camera in US, Pick up at Canadian border

Radon – A Faceless Killer

Did you know that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer? Following closely behind cigarette smoking, radon is responsible for about 21,000 deaths per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, it could be lurking, undetectable, in your home right now. The EPA estimates that 1 in every 15 homes has elevated levels of radon. It is found in every area of every state and can even reside in your house but not the house next door.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas caused by the decay of uranium and radium, radioactive earth metals often found in rock and soil, and sometimes in well water. The dangers of radon were discovered in the 1950s in uranium mines, which hold high concentrations of radon, but it wasn’t until the 1980s when an employee at a nuclear power plant set off the radiation contamination alarms on his way into work that it became apparent that it might be a household threat.

Radon is not visible, has no odor, and by the time the effects manifest themselves in a person it is likely that significant lung damage has already occurred. Radon permeates into buildings from the ground. As warm air rises, it creates a vacuum causing continuous intake of the gases it contains. It wafts in through the tiniest of spaces and could seep through small cracks in the foundation, around pipes, sump pumps and drains, and even through walls and floorboards. Radon is a faceless enemy that subtly penetrates and slowly kills.

ARE YOU CONTAMINATED?

Detecting radon contamination is easy and could save your family’s lives. Though only some areas require mandatory radon testing when selling a house, it is a good idea to test your home regardless of whether you have just moved in, are planning to sell, or have been living there for years. In addition, it is recommended that a test be done before purchasing a home, and it is becoming common practice to do so.

There are several ways to test for elevated levels of radon in your home. There are two kinds of tests, passive and active, and both are easy enough to do yourself. The first, and quickest, is with a passive test. These are generally short-term and most commonly consist of placing canisters filled with charcoal in the location you’d like to test and leaving them for a period of time (usually from 3-7 days). If radon exists it will cause chemical changes in the item in the canister that, when sent to the laboratory in the pre-paid mailer included with the product, can then be analyzed. However, because radon levels can change from day to day or season to season, the EPA recommends doing two back-to-back short-term tests to maximize your chances of more accurately assessing your situation.

A second type of short-term test is called an alpha track detector and contains a piece of foil, film, or plastic that is used to count the particles thrown off by the radon gas decaying. Each particle leaves a tiny dent in the surface and the marks are then counted in the laboratory so that a figure proportional to how much radon is in the space can then be calculated.

The active test is long-term and requires the use of electricity. These are more accurate than the short-term tests, remaining in the home for 90 days or more, and are more likely to give you an overall year-round average radon reading than a short-term test. These are continuous monitors that record data at least once an hour, in addition to monitoring its own operation. Some even record temperature, humidity, air pressure, and other variances in the locale. Though there are some long-term tests that are relatively inexpensive, the better ones cost more than short-term testing, with some kits costing up to $400, and many are best administered by a professional.

FIXING THE PROBLEM

Now that you know how to test for radon in your home, what do you do if you find that you have elevated radon levels? Though the initial thought of having such a deadly gas amongst your family can at first seem daunting, realize that hundreds of thousands of homeowners have been in your shoes and have already made their homes safe.

There are several options that can prevent radon from entering your home. If you find a definitive place of entry, such as a sump pump, around a pipe, or through a crack in your foundation, you can simply block its path. This is a low-cost solution, but may not provide complete protection, as it may be only one of many sources of entry. The EPA does not consider sealing to be a primary reduction technique.

A second option is to create a sort of fresh air bubble under the building, which pushes the radon gas away from the home. An average cost is around $600 but, while this can be effective, it is unpredictable and needs loose soil and careful sealing.

Most mitigation techniques will involve some sort of fan that will draw air from below the basement floor and exhaust it above the roof, thus drawing the danger out and around the home instead of allowing it to rise through it. This can be done for under $2000. If you have a crawl space under your home you can also add a layer of special plastic, which will be sealed to the perimeter walls, under which the exhaust pipe will lie further minimizing the possibility of exposure.

Regardless of your method of detection, identifying radon in your home and fixing the problem ensures that the home you live in remains safe and comfortable. Don’t fear if you discover radon in preparation for selling your home. Take measures to prevent its entry and it can be used as a selling point, not a deterrent. No matter if you’re buying, selling, or have owned your home for many years, testing for radon is a wise and health-saving option.

Olympian Civil Home and Building Inspections (866) 476-2056 Copyright 2008 Olympian Civil Home and Building Inspectors, 2008 All Rights Reserved

Please visit my inspection mega-site for more information about my full service home inspection and environmental testing company. We service Brooklyn, Queens, New York, Manhattan, Staten Island, Nassau County, Yonkers and the Bronx. You may also wish to visit my learning library which is packed with great tips and advice for buyers, sellers and homeowners alike. Lastly, you can also take advantage of my VIP referrals for vendors in over 50 home related trades, where your satisfaction is assured and the inspection of vendors completed workmanship or products is conducted on your behalf for free; visit my site for more details or call toll free 866-476-2056.

http://www.olympiancares.com/inspection-library-new-york-brooklyn-staten-island-queens-nassau-county-long-island-bronx-manhattan-yonkers-westchester.htm

http://www.olympiancares.com/radon_page_1.htm

Author: Dennis Kanakis
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Benefits of electric pressure cooker

Radon Concerns in West Virginia

Radon is a deadly gas that is penetrating homes across the United States by rampant force. The gas is nearly undetectable by human senses, meaning a person can walk into a home and won’t smell, taste, touch, or see the gas. The only way to detect radon is by having a radon test done in your home. There’s a lot to learn about radon and if you live in West Virginia then be rest assured because there are people ready to get rid of the radon in your home!

Radon Basics

Radon gas comes from uranium that can be found in most soil, rock, and sometimes in water. The uranium will over time breakdown and create radon gas, which is toxic when ingested over an extended period of time and in concentrated amounts. Radon gas is everywhere, but when the gas is in a location such as a work office, home, gym, or school, the likelihood of getting sick increases.

Radon is considered to be toxic because it’s a proven carcinogen.

Lung Cancer

Not only does radon tend to damage lung tissue, but it also causes lung cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), radon causes 15 percent of the world’s documented lung cancer cases. The Environmental Protection Agency has also concluded that radon is the cause of 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year.

Even Low Amounts of Radon Can Be Dangerous

Although many people think that they’re home doesn’t have radon, and if it did that it wouldn’t be enough to cause a problem; they could be sadly mistaken. Although many homes are radon-free, that doesn’t mean it’s wise to not have your home tested. There are ways to remove the radon from your home, so if your home has radon it can be eliminated and your livelihood can be protected.

“We know that radon is a carcinogen. This research confirms that breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer,” said Tom Kelly, the director of the EPA’s Indoor Environments Division.

“Most radon-induced lung cancers occur from low and medium dose exposures in people’s homes. Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking in many countries,” said Dr. Maria Neira of the WHO.

In West Virginia

According to the studies performed by Air Chek, Inc., the national average of radon levels in the U.S. is 1.3 pCi/L (Picocuries) and most of the homes in West Virginia maintain a higher level of radon than that! Thankfully, the warning level is 4.0 pCi/L, but as the experts from the EPA and WHO have discovered, even low amounts of radon are toxic.

West Virginia has some pretty high radon levels. In fact, only six of the 50 counties in the state are at a minimal risk of having radon gas in their home. Let’s look at some statistics for some counties in West Virginia. These statistics aren’t meant to scare you, and they don’t prove that your home has radon just because you live in one of these counties or anywhere in West Virginia. In fact, if your neighbor’s home has radon that doesn’t mean that your home has radon. So, the best thing to do is to have your home tested, because the statistics show that there are high levels throughout the state. It’s just best to be safe.

According to the EPA there are three zones for radon levels: high, moderate, and minimal concern. There is a high concern for the counties that lie on the northern and north eastern border of the state. There are six counties in the minimal concern zone: Kanawha, Boone, Logan, Mingo, Wyoming, and McDowell. Every other county is in moderate danger. Here are some examples of each zone beginning with the lower levels to the higher levels.

Kanawha County: 2.8%
Above 4.0 pCi/L – 17%
Between 2-3.9 pCi/L – 29%

Marion County: 3.7 pCi/L
Above 4.0 pCi/L – 31%
Between 2-3.9 pCi/L – 23%

Preston County: 10.3 pCi/L
Above 4.0 pCi/L – 44%
Between 2-3.9 pCi/L – 15%.

Your home’s radon levels can be lessened and you can be saved from the radon toxicity by contacting your local radon mitigation expert. If you want a radon expert to mitigate your home and identify your home’s radon level, be sure to contact Basement Systems of West Virginia. They offer radon mitigation in West Virginia as well as other home improvement services such as basement, crawl space, and foundation repair, as well as basement waterproofing.

Samantha Walton currently works as a web content writer for home improvement sites. She’s a college graduate with a B.A. in communication and a concentration in public relations. She’s aspiring to one day further her education with a seminary degree. Her experience ranges from internships in marketing and public relations, content writing for local television broadcasts, to writing and editing newsletters, fliers, and other content for her local church.

Author: Samantha Walton
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Anti-Cancer

Health Risks of Radon and Ways to Reduce the Threat

Cancer is hitting a little closer to home these days. The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures for 2010 says about 569,490 Americans are expected to die of cancer this year. That is more than 1,500 people a day. In the U.S., cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer in both men and women. Smoking, second hand smoke and radon are the leading causes of lung cancer. Radon, a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas, is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.

Radon forms from the decay of naturally occurring uranium, which is found in soil and rock throughout the world. It typically enters the home through cracks in the foundation wall or floors, gaps in suspended floors, around pipes or construction joints, as well as through cavities inside the walls. It can also enter through the water supply, although the EPA says in most cases the radon entering the home through water is a small risk compared with radon entering your home from the soil.

The EPA’s booklet “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon,” says nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. And radon has been detected in every state. The only way to know if your home has dangerous levels of radon is to test it. The amount of radon in the air is measured in “Pico curies per liter of air,” or “pCi/L.” There are low-cost “do-it-yourself” radon test kits available through the mail and in hardware stores and other retail outlets. However, you can also hire a qualified radon tester to do the testing for you.

If you find you have radon in your home, it is possible to reduce radon levels.

Some techniques prevent radon from entering your home while others reduce radon levels after it has entered. EPA generally recommends methods which prevent the entry of radon. Soil suction, for example, prevents radon from entering your home by drawing the radon from below the home and venting it through a pipe, or pipes, to the air above the home where it is quickly diluted.

An effective method to reduce radon levels in homes with crawlspaces involves covering the earth floor with a high-density plastic sheet. A vent pipe and fan are used to draw the radon from under the sheet and vent it to the outdoors.

Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to radon reduction. Sealing the cracks limits the flow of radon into your home, thereby making other radon reduction techniques more effective and cost-efficient.

U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory Richard Carmona said it best in 2005 when he issued a National Health Advisory on Radon. “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,” he said. “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.”

While we are not yet able to cure cancer, we can do what we can to eliminate carcinogens in our homes.

Lou Cole is the president and owner of Emecole, Inc., a leading supplier in crawl space sealing and insulation materials for contractors throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about Emecole’s basement waterproofing and indoor air quality control line of products, visit http://www.emecole.com or write to 50 E. Montrose Dr. P.O. Box 7486, Romeoville, IL 60446.

Author: Louis Cole
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
iPhone iPad apps and games

Radon Mitigation in Virginia Becomes A Necessity for Homeowners

There’s been a bit of a myth being tossed around about a frog’s reaction to the gradual increase of heat. Some claim that if a frog is placed in warm water that the frog will not attempt to escape even as the water begins to boil-thus, the frog dies. Others say that the frog will not sit still long enough for the water to boil, or that the frog would absolutely notice the change and try to escape.

However, the scenario has been likened to snake rescue, where one expert has said that a snake will rest on a “hot rock” even if the rock becomes extraordinarily hot and eventually kills the snake. Let’s assume this perspective is correct and that some reptiles don’t respond or even recognize an obvious and deadly change in their environment. Does it suffice to say that we as humans may sometimes be unaware of the hazards that slowly develop within the very comforts of our own homes? Some would say, yes.

Radon Enters The Scenario

Many people have died as the result of carbon monoxide poisoning, which has been known to increase over time without an individual even noticing. This is why many states have requirements for carbon monoxide detectors. Radon poisoning can and does have the same ill-fated effects as carbon monoxide poisoning and the reptile stories mentioned above.

Radon is the result of soil’s uranium decay. As this process occurs, polonium is released and this creates radon’s toxicity. Unfortunately, radon commonly goes unnoticed, not because of ignorance but because of the gas’ translucence and ability to go under the human radar.

It is invisible. It has no taste, form or scent. So, it’s not all that uncommon for a person to unknowingly live in a home with extraordinarily high levels of radon. Although radon is quite frightening to discuss, it’s very real and more importantly-it’s easy to fix!

Let’s learn more about the effects of overexposure to radon gas and then we’ll discuss the testing and radon mitigation resources that are available in Virginia.

Radon-The Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer

By now, the harmful effects of cigarette smoke is no hidden secret, but for many years smoking was part of relaxation and for some, a past time. Smoking cigarettes and living in a home with radon gas has one thing in common- lung cancer.

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. However, radon takes the lead as the leading cause of lung cancer amongst non-smokers. By the simple process of elimination, radon is a killer and just as cigarettes have gotten away with murder, radon is still getting away with over 20 thousand deaths a year in the U.S. alone-according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented about 15 percent of the world’s lung cancer cases as being caused by radon poisoning.

Low Radon Levels Are Still Dangerous

It’s easy to think that the worst thing possible could never happen to you; in fact that’s optimism at its best. However, when radon is involved in the equation, optimism can coexist with being proactive and safe. Even if a home has somewhat low, or what is considered to be low risk levels of radon, it’s still a good idea to call a professional to mitigate and get the levels as low as possible.

“We know that radon is a carcinogen. This research confirms that breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer,” said Tom Kelly, the director of the EPA’s Indoor Environments Division.

“Most radon-induced lung cancers occur from low and medium dose exposures in people’s homes. Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking in many countries,” said Dr. Maria Neira of the WHO.

Radon Levels in Virginia

According to the studies performed by Air Chek, Inc., the national average of radon levels in the U.S. is 1.3 pCi/L (Picocuries) and potentially more than 70 percent of the counties in Virginia maintain a level of radon even higher than 1.3.

Although the EPA has defined 4.0 pCi/L as the “requires action” level, many organizations including the WHO have found that even low levels of radon can be problematic, as we’ve already learned.

Virginia, like West Virginia, has many counties harboring very high levels of radon. However, Virginia is looking a bit better than West Virginia that only has six of the 50 counties with a minimal risk of radon. Meanwhile, Virginia has just below 50 percent of the counties in danger and about a quarter of the excess counties in moderate danger.

Though shocking and even a little scary, these numbers don’t define your home’s levels. In fact, you could have low levels of radon. But, regardless of the level, you want to know your family is safe. The best way to do that is to have your home tested for radon and to be sure to have annual checkups to be sure your mitigation system is working efficiently. As the earth’s soil changes, climate and your home changes, the radon levels can also adjust either by increasing or decreasing over time. That’s why it’s important to work with an expert in minimizing the radon levels in your home.

The EPA has defined three defining zones for radon levels: high, moderate and minimal concern. It appears that the southeast counties of Virginia have maintained a minimal risk as the rest of the state varies between high and moderate concern.

Here are three examples of Virginia counties with different levels of radon.

Southampton County is considered to be at low risk with 11% high concern, 21% moderate and 69% low.

Wise County is considered moderate risk with 38% high, 18% moderate and 52% low.

Lee County is considered at high risk with 41% high, 15% moderate and 44% low.

Although these all have different overall averages, each county has a percent of homes with high radon levels. This means that all homeowners regardless of the county should have their home checked for radon. What are your levels?

Your home’s radon levels can be lessened and you can be saved from the radon toxicity by contacting your local radon mitigation expert.

If you want a Virginia radon expert to mitigate your home and identify your home’s radon level, be sure to contact Evergreen Basement Systems. They offer radon mitigation in Virginia as well as other home improvement services such as basement, crawl space, and foundation repair, and basement waterproofing.

Samantha Walton currently works as a web content writer for home improvement sites. She’s a college graduate with a B.A. in communication and a concentration in public relations. She’s aspiring to one day further her education with a seminary degree. Her experience ranges from internships in marketing and public relations, content writing for local television broadcasts, to writing and editing newsletters, fliers, and other content for her local church.

Author: Samantha Walton
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Creditcard Currency Conversion Fee

Radon Danger in Your Home – Know the Facts

Knowing about radon is more important than ever before, as new facts emerge about its deadly consequences. The United States Surgeon General re-emphasized to the nation in January of 2010 the fact that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking in the U.S. If you smoke AND the radon levels in your home are high, you will have a very high risk for lung cancer. What can you do? Plenty! And it’s easy.

First, what is radon? Radon comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water, and ends up in the air we breathe. Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Although radon is found in all types of buildings, we get most of our exposure when we’re at home. Radon can exist in the air, and in our water source. Although radon levels vary throughout the United States, radon has been found in every state. You can see the average levels of radon by pulling up the maps on the internet by typing in radon maps.

What levels of radon are ok? Radon in the air is measured in “picocuries per liter of air”, or “pCi/L”. Generally speaking, levels less than 4 pCi/L are considered safe, although if you can reduce the levels further it’s a good idea. The really good news in all of this is that you can TEST for radon, and you can put systems in the home to lower radon levels. The systems for lowering the levels are relatively inexpensive. If you have a reading of just over 4pCi/L, you may be able to do some simple sealing of leaks around the crawlspace, foundation, or basement of your home to lower the levels in the home itself.

How should I get my home tested? Who should install a mitigation system if I need one? Good news here too. Testing your home is easy. The first way is to do it yourself by going to a home improvement store and buying a test kit. Follow the directions carefully to ensure the most accurate results. The second way to test your home is to call a professional radon tester. These individuals are trained and certified to administer and interpret the test and can advise you on what to do if your levels are high. The cost to get a professional to test your home is low – usually $125-$200. They will come to your home and leave several test canisters open to the air. They will give you specific instructions for the 2 days the canisters are active. They will then return and send the canister media to a certified, registered laboratory that will have the analysis within one or two days. You can contact your state radon office for a list of professionals who have registered with them, or you can call a local home inspector who routinely performs radon testing as part of the home sale. If you discover through testing that you need a radon reduction system, you should ask your professional tester for referrals or check with the state radon office. The person or company you choose should be a qualified, licensed contractor, preferably certified in radon mitigation, and you should get more than one estimate.

The last piece of good news is if you do need to reduce the levels of radon in your home, it is not expensive to do. A vent and fan system is usually the first line of defense, and will lower the radon to acceptable levels over 85% of the time. NOTE: If you do your own test and the reading comes out over 4pCi/L, I recommend that you call a professional for another test of your home to confirm your own reading.

There is a lot more that you can learn about radon by going to the Environmental Protection Agency’s web site (www.epa.gov) and by going to http://www.radon.com.

Get a copy of the free A Citizen’s Guide to Radon from the EPA site or from our company site: http://www.YourInspectionExpert.com.

About the Author: Lisa P. Turner is a certified home inspector, radon tester, and licensed general contractor. Her company, Your Inspection Expert, Inc., inspects homes for safety and functionality for home buyers, sellers, owners, mortgage companies, and construction companies. Visit http://www.YourInspectionExpert.com for information and more tips to maximize the value of your home.

Author: Lisa P. Turner
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Canadian crossborder shopping

Home Radon Gas: How to Detect and Use Testing Kits

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally. It is a chemical element existing as a by-product of the natural decay of uranium, an element in the ground that been around since the earth was formed therefore it is found in low levels everywhere. When radon becomes trapped in buildings, concentrations can increase in indoor air and radon exposure then becomes a concern.

We need to be very much alert that radon is a deadly gas. It is one of the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, only second to cigarette smoking which is the number one responsible for lung cancer deaths. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Surgeon General have strongly recommended that all residences (except those above the 2nd floor in multi-level buildings) be tested for radon. Needless to say, smokers with high levels of radon in the home has much greater risk of getting lung cancer.

How Radon Gets in Home
Uranium is a radioactive element that decays and forms radium which gives off radon gas, it then travels up through the ground and infiltrates the water and air we breathe. When it reaches the surface of the ground, the gas can go directly into the air where it does not usually do any damage, or it can seep into a building where it collects and causes health problems.

Some parts of the US are more susceptible to radon gas than others. The difference between the higher pressure in the soil around your home’s foundation and the lower air pressure inside your home makes your house act like vacuum, that radon gas gets drawn in through cracks, open seams, holes and just about any openings below the surface of the ground.

Since radon may also presents in well water, it can be released into the air in your home via showering water and other household water uses, though the risk is small compared to the radon amount entered from the soil. For small number of homes, the building materials may also give off radon gas, although they rarely cause problems alone.

Methods to Detect Radon Level
You have to perform a test in order to find out if radon is in a building. That is the only way. The EPA recommends two ways of testing:

Short-Term or Passive Testing – This is the cheapest and quickest way. Depending on the device you choose, they can remain in your home for 2 to 90 days. Charcoal canisters, electret ion chamber, continuous monitors and charcoal liquid scintillation detectors are most commonly used in short term testing. Because radon levels tend to vary from day to day and season to season, a short term test offers a less conclusive evaluation than a long term test. For quickest yet firmer results, do a short term test followed by another passive test as such.

Many types of low cost short term “do it yourself” radon test kits are available in hardware stores and home centers. Make sure to buy a test kit that has passed EPA’s testing program or is state certified. You should see phrase like “Meets EPA Requirements” displayed on the kits. They are quite inexpensive.

Long Term or Active Testing – This is a more expensive way and the testing kit has to be remained in the home for more than 90 days. There are two types of commonly used test kits: Alpha track and electret detectors. A long term test gives you a reading that is most likely to tell your home’s year round average radon level. Radon gas detectors that monitor gas levels on a continuous basis are also available.

Hire an EPA qualified or state certified radon tester if you prefer, some lenders may require certified test results to close the transaction when buying or selling a home.

How to Use a Radon Test Kit
Always follow the instructions that come with the test kit. Place the radon test kit in the lowest living space of the property. It should be put in a room that is used regularly, but not your kitchen or bathroom. Put the kit at least 20 inches above the floor in a location where it won’t be disturbed. Keep it away from drafts, high heat, high humidity and exterior walls. Leave the kit in place for as long as the package says, do not take away earlier than that. When finished testing, reveal the package, send it to the package specified lab directly. Normally you should receive the results within a couple of weeks.

Note that if you are doing a very short test that lasts only 2-3 days, be sure to close your windows and outside doors at least 12 hours in advance; for longer period of testing, keep the windows and outside doors as much as possible during the test. Keep in mind: Do Not conduct 2 to 3-day passive tests during severe storms or unusually high winds. The results will not be accurate.

Interpreting Test Results
The amount of radon in the air is generally measured in picocuries of radon per liter of air (pCi/l), or may be expressed in Working Levels (WL) sometimes. Based on the EPA standards, amount of radon that is higher than 4 pCi/l or 0.002 WL is considered too high that corrective measures should be taken to fix the problem. If your initial short term test result is higher than 4 pCi/l or 0.002 WL, the EPA recommends that you take a second test to be sure. For a better understanding of the radon levels in your home, taking a long term test is recommended.

Any radon exposure carries some risk, even the levels below EPA set standard. So lower the radon amount sometimes is necessary. This would be in the next hub – Radon Reduction Techniques.

(c)Copyrighted: You may freely republish this article as long as author bio and active hyperlinks are included.

Jacklyn Chen – Webmaster of Gift Ideas and Magazine Subscriptions

Author: Jacklyn Chen
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
US Dollar credit card