Archive for April, 2012
What is Radon Gas and what is the Source of High Radon Levels?
You may know that inhaling excessive levels of radon gas is unsafe, but you may not realize that the gas is around you every day. In the open air, it is not harmful, but when it accumulates indoors, it can be very dangerous.
Radon is a gas that is created from decomposing uranium in the soil. Areas that are rich with naturally occurring deposits of uranium normally would not have any health repercussions from the uranium itself. When it starts to break down in the soil, however, it releases a gas that seeps into the air and causes widespread health problems for all living things that inhale too much of it.
What are the Health Impacts of High Radon Levels?
One of the primary effects of inhaling high radon levels is an increased risk of contracting lung cancer. It is also believed that if you smoke, the chemicals in the cigarettes mix with the radon gas in a way that multiplies your chances of lung cancer even further. This can be a deadly combination if you are a smoker. Regardless, elevated radon levels in your home mean that your entire family is put at risk even when they sleep. Studies show that your risk for lung cancer rises by about 16 percent for every 2.7 pCi/L of radon gas you are exposed to. This means to protect your family you either have to eliminate or severely reduce the amount inside your home if radon gas has become a problem.
Dealing with High Radon Levels
The ideal goal of course, is to have all radon gas removed from your home, but small traces are not dangerous. The national average for home interiors is around 0.75 pCi/L so this is a good base line to go off of for your own home. This is only slightly higher than the average radon levels outdoors of about 0.4 pCi/L.
The average radon levels in Rochester, Minnesota are among the highest in the nation, even clocking in at around 4.0 pCi/L — the concentration at which the gas becomes truly dangerous. Therefore, you should have SWAT Environmental perform a professional test to ensure that your home’s radon levels are not too high. If they are, there is always a way to reduce it. SWAT’s specialists can install a custom radon reduction system. Usually a radon reduction system consists of a fan and other components designed to pull the radon gas out of your house and prevent it from returning. Often, the overall mitigation system will require several different components along with a preventative inspection and sealing of all radon gas entry points. SWAT Environmental’s specialists can ensure that this process is as efficient and unobtrusive as possible — and most importantly, can ensure that your family will be kept safe from high radon levels.
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