Archive for June, 2012
Why Radon Abatement Is Important
Radon is a radioactive gas that has no taste, smell or color. When elements like uranium and radium slowly break down, they create radon gas as a byproduct. The resulting particles are known as daughters; they are extremely harmful when they attach themselves to dust particles floating in the air. When a person inhales these dust particles, the radon makes its way to the lungs, causing damage as the particles attach themselves to lung tissue. If this cycle continues, the exposure can cause harmful side effects and even lung cancer.
Radon travels into the air from the ground unnoticed; this is usually not harmful since the gas generally dissipates quickly in the open air. However, when the gas is generated beneath a building, the gas can sometimes become trapped inside it. Common means by which the gas gets inside include slab joints, floor drains, porous cinder block walls, sump pits and cracked basement floors or walls.
The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA records that around 20,000 people each year die due to complications from radon gas exposure. Most of these cases are caused by lung cancer that develops in people who regularly inhale excessively high radon levels. In a region like that surrounding Indianapolis, which is classified as a Zone One radon area, it is recommended that all homes have radon abatement measures installed during construction. If your house was not built with these measures, you should have your house checked to see if it needs to have them added.
Tests Before Beginning Radon Abatement
The EPA recommends testing for radon in an at-risk area like Indianapolis at least every two years. A common type of radon test is known as an activated carbon test. This method requires the use of a small container containing activated charcoal placed in the lowest habitable location in a building or house and allowed to collect airborne particles for a weekend or so (the exact time period varies from one test to another). Afterwards, the container should be analyzed at a professional laboratory. Another test to detect a house’s radon levels is known as a CRM or Continuous Radon Monitor. It can find and record radon levels much faster than with the container method; a CRM gives you results within hours as opposed to days. However, many individuals chose to rely on SWAT Environmental’s radon specialists for the testing as well as radon abatement processes to ensure that everything is handled properly.
Some experts say that living in a home that contains high levels of radon gas is the equivalent of each member of your family smoking half a pack of cigarettes each day. Clearly, this is not an issue to take lightly. If testing shows that your house contains excessive levels of radon, have SWAT Environmental’s experts set up a customized radon abatement system to correct the problem and keep your family safe.
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