Archive for July, 2012
How Waterborne Radon Infiltrates Homes in Rochester, Minnesota
Radon is able to enter a home by dissolving into underground water sources that can then be pulled into a well or other water supply and eventually into a house. This can result in radon contaminating the water you use to bathe yourself, drink, wash dishes and so on. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, breathing radon released from tap water can cause lung cancer. In addition, consuming waterborne radon that has not yet been released into the air may cause stomach cancer in some cases. As a result, you should make testing your water supply regularly to ensure that is not contaminated a top priority.
Radon is a radioactive gas that is often created naturally in the Minnesota environment. The gas is produced by the decomposition of uranium in the soil, water and rocks. It is harmless if dispersed outdoors, but can cause significant harm to individuals when it accumulates inside an enclosed space, such as after it is released from a home’s water supply.
The Dangers of Radon in Water
According to the EPA, approximately 11 percent of stomach cancer cases are caused by water contaminated by radon. The risk of lung cancer from inhaling the radon after it is released from the water is even higher. Due to the dangers associated with radon, the EPA recommends testing both the air and the water of your home on a regular basis to ensure that you and your family are not being put at risk. It is possible for any water source, private or public, to become contaminated with radon, especially in a high-risk area like that around Rochester.
Although it is not required by law in the state of Minnesota that homeowners do so, it is very wise to take the initiative to have your home’s water tested for radon. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, this is important no matter what the age of the home, since both new and old houses can be contaminated. In fact, the Department reports that nearly a third of homes in Minnesota are at risk of radon contamination.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that cannot be solved by the standard water purification processes of distillation or reverse osmosis. These methods are not able to remove radon in water due to the small size of the radon molecules. In addition, radon is impossible to detect ordinarily since the gas is invisible, odorless and tasteless.
Protecting Your Home from Radon in Water
Radon specialists from SWAT Environmental can handle the testing process for you. If the results of the test show that your home contains dangerous radon levels, you will need to have specialized equipment installed to correct the problem. Some combination of aeration systems to remove the radon before the water gets inside your house and carbon absorption filters to remove any remaining radon as the water exits the tap should usually be sufficient to keep your family protected.
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What Is Radon Abatement?
Radon is a radioactive gas that has been known to cause the development of cancer among those living in buildings containing high levels of the substance. Radon cannot be detected by any ordinary human senses since it is odorless and tasteless, as well as invisible to the naked eye. Radon is currently the second highest cause of lung cancer among Americans. Adding tobacco smoke to a household with high radon levels increases the cancer risk even more. Although radon gas is a danger to anyone, children are even more vulnerable to it than adults, which should only serve to increase the urgency of radon testing.
Radon abatement is the process of detecting and reducing radon levels in a home. It has been predicted that the full detection of radon levels in all homes throughout the United Sates could prevent tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer every year. It is very difficult to prevent the effects of high radon levels without mitigation or abatement. Many people believe that simply leaving the windows of a home open will decrease radon levels by allowing the gas to escape, but this is simply not sufficient for a radon-contaminated home. Radon abatement professionals from SWAT Environmental can ensure that radon concentrations are decreased to safe levels — something that an ordinary home owner could not accomplish without their help.
Why is Radon Abatement Necessary?
Radon gas can enter a home in several different ways. In many cases, it does so through cracks in the foundation of a house, or through gaps around pipes in its basement. Different areas have different concerns when it comes to radon levels. Rochester, Minnesota is one town that should certainly seek to heighten its awareness of the dangers of high radon levels. The people of Rochester are urged to test their homes regularly to avoid being blindsided by the development of any major health issues from radon gas exposure. Mitigation and radon abatement are fairly simple solutions, and should be performed whenever necessary.
What are the Primary Methods of Radon Abatement?
Some of the simplest methods of radon abatement include the sealing of any gaps and cracks in the structure of a home. These openings act as gateways for radon to enter, and are the first major concern when dealing with high radon levels. After these obvious entry points have been sealed, then other methods can be set into motion to reduce the already existing high levels. This usually involves the installation of a specialized ventilation system to move radon from the indoors to the outdoors. After radon abatement occurs, a new test should be performed to determine the effectiveness of the abatement method.
When building a new home in the Rochester area, it is wise to use radon-resistant construction materials and techniques. If your home did not have these features included during its construction, however, you should not hesitate to take advantage of SWAT Environmental’s modern radon abatement techniques to ensure that your family is protected.