What is Radon?
Radon gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It does not burn or glow. It is undectable by human senses. Radon is a radioactive gas produced naturally in the ground by the natural decay of uranium and radium, which is found in nearly all rocks and soil. The Surgeon General has warned that rado is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today.
How does Radon enter your home?
The major cause of radon getting in your home is the difference between the inside and outside air pressure. Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your homes foundation. Because of this difference in pressure, your home acts like a vacuum, drawing radon through:
* Cracks in Basement Floors
* Slab Joints
* Floor Drains
* Cracks and Cavities in the Walls
* Sump Pumps
* Loose Fitting Pipes
Why Can Radon Be A Problem?
When inhaled as part of the particle-filled air we breathe, these alpha energized particles adhere to the lining of the lungs. Studies indicate an increase in lung cancer and as many as 20,000 deaths a year are now thought to be caused by this phenomenon.
The majority of individuals exposed to radon gas will not develop any health problems due to exposure; however, very high levels of radon can cause an immediate threat. This threat will be finished as the level is lowered.
The objective is to reduce radon exposure levels to less than 4.0 pico Curies through corrective action.
Is there a quick and inexpensive way to check a house?
Yes! Increasingly easy to buy are canisters that contain clean, absorbent charcoal granules that when exposed to the air in the house, will absorb radon.
The whole testing process, if you use a short term test, can be accomplished in a week or so. The canister stays open in the house for about three days, is mailed to the lab, and the results often returned in a few days. A second option could be the use of a continuous monitor. This test will produce immediate results.
The radon gas detector will determine if the radon level in your home is higher than what the Federal Environmental Protection Agency recommends.
If a house has a radon problem, how can it be corrected?
There are several methods that can be used to lower radon levels in your home. Your house type will affect the kinds of radon reduction systems that will work best. Houses are general categorized according to their foundation design, such as:
Some houses have more than one foundation design feature. For instance, it is common to have a basement under part of the house and to have a slab-on-grade or crawlspace under the rest of the house. In these situations a combination of radon reduction techniques may be needed to reduce radon levels.
The most common reduction method is placing more suction under the home than what the home is exerting from the soil. The radon is then drawn to the pipes, which in return is sent straight out of your home.