Posts Tagged ‘minnesota’
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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Is Your Rochester, Minnesota Home Safe From Radon? It’s Radon Action Month
January is National Radon Action Month. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on a mission to make residents throughout the country aware of the continuing danger that radon poses for many areas including Rochester. Current statistics show that as many as 20,000 individuals died from lung cancer caused by radon exposure in 2009. That number is expected to continue unless public awareness of this problem is created. Both the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General want to make Rochester area residents aware of the steps they need to take now to protect the lives of their loved ones from this cancer-causing gas.
Formed when uranium breaks down underneath the surface of the earth, radon is a radioactive gas. You cannot see it, taste it, or smell it. It is silent, but it is deadly. How does it enter your home? When radon is formed, it fills up any cracks or openings in the ground. Eventually, it runs out of room and must find another place to go. As it travels through the ground, it follows along the path of least resistance. Your Rochester home acts like a vacuum drawing the radon directly to it. This happens because the pressure between your home and the ground are so different.
As the radon enters your home, it continues to build up, becoming trapped in corners, closets, and crawl spaces. Over months or even years, this radon gas begins to break down, forming smaller particulates known as radon daughters. The radon daughters enter your airway via the dust particulates they cling to, latching onto your lungs for dear life. Unfortunately, it is your life they are strangling.
What Rochester Area Residents Need to Know about Radon
Unfortunately, as winter closes in, many Rochester residents are going to walk into their homes, close the door, and become exposed to radon. It is leading cause of lung cancer in non-smoking residents living in the United States. Unfortunately, Rochester area residents are living in an area of the country that is known for having a higher incidence of radon intrusion.
Having your home tested for radon allows you to find out whether or not the levels that exist are safe. Levels under 4.0 pci/L are designated as safe, but anything above that requires radon mitigation to dispel radon vapors from your Rochester area home.
Take Action During Radon Action Month and Have Your Rochester Area Home Tested for Radon
The biggest radon gas mitigator in the nation, SWAT staffs a greater number of certified technicians than other mitigation companies in the country. Offering price discounts for their radon mitigation services throughout the entire month of January in recognition of National Radon Action Month, SWAT is trying to make it easier for Rochester residents to implement radon mitigation strategies and take care of their families and homes.
Test Your Rochester, Minnesota Home for Radon and Vapor Intrusion Today
If you live in Rochester, Minnesota, then you may want to consider having your home tested for vapor intrusion. This area of the country has a higher incidence of radon contamination due to vapor intrusion. Since radon is a known carcinogenic, you are placing yourself and everyone who lives with you at risk of developing lung cancer. Your best course of action is to have your property tested for this known carcinogen and to take the appropriate actions if it is discovered that your levels of vapor intrusion are too high.
You may be wondering just exactly what vapor intrusion is and what you can do about it. Vapor intrusion occurs when radon vapors enter a building through the cracks and fissures that have developed in its foundation and basement walls. It can even enter your home through windows that are located at ground level. Unless you have installed a radon mitigation system to handle this vapor intrusion, it continues to build up, affecting the health of everyone who lives in the home.
Where does the radon come from? Radon forms when uranium breaks down. Uranium is found beneath the earth’s surface in many areas of the country, including Rochester, Minnesota. As it builds up, this radioactive gas searches for an escape route. It follows through the cracks in the earth’s structure until it finds a way out of the ground. Unfortunately for homeowners in Rochester, Minnesota, it often finds its way right into your basement, from which this noxious gas spreads to the rest of your home.
Undergoing Radon Vapor Intrusion Mitigation in Rochester, Minnesota
According to the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, a safe level of radon vapor intrusion falls below to a level of 4 pCI/L or picocuries per liter. Anything above that and it is highly recommended that you bring in a professional to implement radon mitigation procedures to reduce the levels. Vapor intrusion has been called a silent killer. It can’t be seen, tasted, or smelled, so it could be affecting you every day of your life if it exists in your home.
What options for you have for dealing with vapor intrusion? Well, your radon mitigation specialists will discuss this with you, taking into consideration the construction of your Rochester, Minnesota home as well as the level of contamination that you have. In general, though, the best method of radon mitigation is the active soil depressurization strategy. It deals with vapor intrusion quite effectively since it eliminates the conditions that draws the vapor intrusion into your home.
If you suspect that your Rochester, Minnesota property has vapor intrusion, bring in a radon mitigation specialist to test your home for current levels of this deadly gas. Discuss all of your available options and make sure that the radon vapor intrusion company that you are talking with is prepared to complete the radon mitigation work themselves.
Have Your Home Tested for High Levels of Radon
If you live in the Rochester, Minnesota area and have not yet had your home tested for radon, you should make an appointment with a certified testing company as soon as you can. And if you have already had your Rochester, Minnesota area home tested and found higher radon levels than normal, you need to develop a plan to deal with the problem as soon as you can. After all, radon problems in the Rochester, Minnesota area are cumulative, and every day you delay could be putting your health, and the health of your family, at risk.
Fortunately there are some strategies you can use to deal with a radon problem in your Rochester, Minnesota area home. If you have high levels of radon in your Rochester, Minnesota area home, you first need to start interviewing radon mitigation companies and contractors. When you do those interviews, you want to establish a few important things, like the amount of experience the contractor has working with Rochester, Minnesota area homeowners. You also want to make sure the company you hire to fix your Rochester, Minnesota area home has specific training and expertise in getting rid of radon at the source.
S.W.A.T Environmental Radon Mitigation
For instance, our company has a great deal of experience dealing with radon problems in the Rochester, Minnesota area. That regional experience is important, since radon problems are different in every part of the country. When you hire our company to deal with your radon problem, we will work with you to determine the exact source of the problem. Once we have a thorough understanding of where that radon is coming from, our company will work with you to develop a strategy to deal with the problem and get rid of it for good.
Our company representatives will explain to you exactly where the radon is coming from, and how we propose to get rid of it. We will explain the type of radon mitigation system we plan to install, and how we plan to use it to get rid of radon in your Rochester, Minnesota area home. We will also explain what you need to do to monitor the system we install in your Rochester, Minnesota area home, since that is the best way to ensure that your radon problem does not come back.
High Levels of Radon Puts You and Your Family At Risk
If you’ve discovered that your Rochester home has abnormally high levels of radon, reducing the amount of the gas in the air is vital to protecting the health of your family. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that Rochester homeowners use mitigation systems that prevent radon from ever entering their homes.
How to Reduce Radon Levels
The most common method for radon mitigation in Rochester is the soil suction technique. This method is effective because much of the radon in the Rochester area is due to the breakdown of uranium in the ground. The soil suction technique uses a vent fan to pull the radon downward under the house. The radon then travels through one or more pipes until it reaches the open air above your home, where it mixes with the atmosphere and no longer poses a threat.
Several systems are available for soil suction radon mitigation. The type that is right for your Rochester home depends mainly upon its foundation type. In addition, the presence of a sump pump can also influence the placement of the components for soil suction mitigation devices in houses located in Rochester.
The benefit of soil suction radon mitigation systems is that they require only minimal modifications to your existing home. An efficient system can have a profound effect upon radon levels in Rochester homes. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Health reports that many systems can reduce radon levels to 2.0 pico Curies per Liter. This represents a significant reduction as the EPA uses 4.0 pico Curies as the guideline for when radon mitigation typically becomes necessary.
Cracks in concrete blocks and foundations also contribute to the presence of radon in homes and occur primarily due to moisture and temperature changes. Unfortunately, Rochester’s humid continental climate makes cracks common; the city receives an average of 30 inches of rainfall and 48 inches of snowfall per year with average high temperatures of 21 degrees Fahrenheit in January and 82 degrees Fahrenheit in July.
Repairing cracks in concrete, spaces in brick veneers and loose pipe fittings all contribute to mitigating the amount of radon in Rochester homes; however, the EPA does not recommend these home repairs as the sole method of radon mitigation. Rather, Rochester homeowners should make these home improvements to complement soil suction systems or other radon mitigation techniques.
Similarly, opening windows and doors to ventilate a home is not adequate to reduce radon levels inside. Although allowing fresh air to enter the home dilutes the amount of radon present in the air you breathe, studies show that this only temporarily improves air quality. Radon levels typically return to their former levels within 12 hours of the house being closed up.
Because many factors contribute to the best design for a radon mitigation system in your Rochester home, you should enlist the help of a professional. A qualified radon contractor can help you determine what method of radon mitigation is ideal for your home.