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Understanding, Testing and Reducing Radon PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 01 July 2010 07:19
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Imagine something that is colorless, odorless and deadly if it causes about 21,000 deaths each year. It is almost everywhere in varying amounts. In addition, it is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer among smokers.

You probably do not guess radon. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one in fifteen homes has dangerous levels of radon. Testing and radon reduction is very simple and easy to do but it is rarely done. Here are some basic facts about radon that you need to know to protect yourself and your family.

What is radon?

Radon is an invisible gas that is produced by natural decay of uranium in the soil. Areas with lots of granite, shale, limestone, shale, phosphate and pitchblende have usually a larger amount of radon. However, it can be found in large quantities in every state in the country.

What health risks associated with radon?

The health effects associated with known only to radon is lung cancer. Lung cancer usually develops after five to twenty-five years of exposure, depending on the levels of radon in the home. Smokers have a higher risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer than non-smokers, while children are about the same chance of developing lung cancer in adulthood.

If it happens naturally, so why I need to test?

Although radon is present naturally, it accumulates inside the buildings. A national 1991 survey of residential radon have shown that the average levels of indoor radon was about 1.3 picocuries per liter (pCi / L) in the United States, but the average outdoor n ' was only about 0.4 pCi / L. Anything above 2.0 pCi / L is considered dangerous, levels of 4.0 pCi / L or more are considered hazardous. Living in a house with a PCI / L at 4.0 triples the risk of developing lung cancer, even if you have never smoked.

Radon can enter the home through small openings such as cracks in walls and concrete floors, gaps in suspended floors, sumps, floor drains, pipes, utility, or son who through a foundation wall. Because the air pressure inside your home is less than the pressure in the soil, your home acts like a vacuum and can draw radon in through the smallest openings. Once inside, radon has nowhere to go and accumulates. High levels of radon in your home increase the likelihood that you or a family member develops cancer. Radon levels are usually higher in basements and crawl spaces, because they are close to the source and often poorly ventilated.

My house is new, so how can I have a radon problem?

Any home or building may have a radon problem: old, new, well-sealed, air currents, with basement, without basements. Even if your neighbors have tested their home and were not a problem, it does not guarantee that your house is safe. Radon is not always spread over an area, sometimes it can be found in the pockets. In one case, a house had sixteen times the amount of radon allowed uranium miners, but none of the houses nearby had a problem.

How do I know if my home has radon?

Do-it-yourself radon test kits can be purchased online, at hardware stores and other retail stores. Make sure that any test kit has the words "meets EPA requirements" written on it. The most common type of test consists of an activated carbon filter that is placed outdoors for about one week before it is sent to a testing agency. Two other tests of radon detectors are alpha track detectors and electret ion. They usually have longer probationary periods - anywhere from 90 days to one year. short-term tests give you results faster, but can not accurately measure what happens in the house. You should consider making the two types of tests .

test boxes should be placed in the lowest level of your home. Do not place in rooms that are rich in water projects such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry room, and hallways. Moisture and projects that can affect results. It is recommended that two test kits to be used simultaneously to ensure accuracy.

An alternative to the test do-it-yourself would be to hire a company that specializes in testing for radon. However, it is essential that you consult a contractor with the Better Business Bureau, and the first of the EPA. A lot of unscrupulous people have made money wrongly and protect homes test for radon. Make sure the switch has been trained and evaluated by the EPA voluntary National Radon Development Program (RPP). Any contractor who has met the requirements of the EPA will be able to show an ID generated by the EPA RPP.

Is this just a way to make me waste my money on a test kit?

Radon is a problem big enough that the EPA has set up offices in each state radon. You can find your local office by visiting their website [] http://www.epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html. Radon is also quite a risk to the surgeon general to issue this notice of health in January 2005:

Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing for prolonged periods can present a significant risk to the health of families across the country. It is important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected by a simple test and fixed through well-established techniques of ventilation.

What should I do if I radon in my house?

Reducing radon can be as simple as opening a window. Improve ventilation inside your home will radon from accumulating to dangerous levels. prevent it from entering your home is not so difficult either, but it may take a little work. First, check the gaps and cracks in your basement or crawl space and the lower portion of your masonry cladding or the first floor. the seal with latex or silicone caulk or foam sealant. Waterproof your basement and painting cement walls with paint basement waterproofing. If you have a sump pump, make sure it has a tight lid.

If the radon level in your home is four pCi / L or more, you should consider hiring a contractor to ensure that you effectively reduce your radon levels. Some radon reduction system will reduce radon levels in your home eighty-nine percent. The average cost of fixing a home with these systems generally vary from $ 800 to $ 2,500. Again, make sure the contractor has met the requirements of the EPA and can show you an identity card RPP. Your local office of the EPA will be able to refer you to contractors who have met their standards.

Sometimes what you do not know can hurt you. Radon is one of those days. However, it need not be this way if you take the appropriate steps to try and reduce levels of radon in your home. The risk of developing lung cancer decreases when you reduce radon levels in your home, as he does for people who quit smoking. The sooner you act, the better you will.

 
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