Archive for July, 2012
The Danger of Radon in Water
Radon is a radioactive gas with no color, odor or taste. Like helium, it is a noble gas. Radon is created as a byproduct of the breakdown of radioactive elements like thorium and uranium commonly found underground all over the country. This process is known as the radioactive decay chain. Because radon itself also exhibits a high degree of radioactivity, exposure to it can be extremely harmful. Furthermore, radon in water is particularly dangerous due to its tendency to build up inside homes in the New York region. As the elements in the soil beneath a house decay and create radon, the gas can rise into the home through cracks and other abnormalities in the foundation. Inside the home, radon becomes trapped, usually below the third floor, and its levels continue to grow.
Perhaps an even more subtle source of radon gas contamination is from a home’s water supply. Radon can contaminate underground water sources, then enter the house through its plumbing. The gas then escapes from the water into the air whenever you use the water for any purpose, further increasing the levels of radon trapped inside your home.
Overview of Radon in Water
Radon is actually much more dangerous when it is airborne. Comparatively speaking, waterborne radon is not considered very risky, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Airborne radon is considered particularly dangerous, however, because it causes lung cancer, which has a survival rate past five years of only 15 percent. Unfortunately, radon in water can eventually become airborne. In fact, in some contaminated homes, this is the primary source of the air contamination.
The risk of developing cancer increases 100 to 10,000 times when a person is exposed to waterborne radon as opposed to other waterborne chemicals. Water containing radon is largely a threat because the radon escapes the water and becomes trapped in homes, thus becoming the more dangerous airborne radon. However, not all radon escapes from water, which leads to the ingestion of radon, increasing the risk of stomach cancer as well. More than 15,000 lung cancer deaths are caused by airborne radon each year in the United States, while approximately 170 cancer cases are caused by drinking water tainted with waterborne radon — 89 percent of them when radon escaping from water is inhaled, and 11 percent due to drinking the tainted water, resulting in the development of stomach cancer.
The presence of radon in water is treatable, but unfortunately many cases of contamination in the area go undetected due to a simple lack of testing. Have SWAT Environmental’s experts test your home’s radon levels regularly, and if your house is found to be contaminated have them install equipment to address the issue. Aeration systems and granular carbon filtration systems are two effective options to remove radon from water, according to the EPA. SWAT Environmental’s professionals can assess each case to determine how best to correct the problem.
Protecting Your Home from Radon in New York
Dealing with radon gas poses a significant challenge for both owners and residents of real estate properties in and around . Because this gas is colorless and odorless, it can be very difficult to detect. Nonetheless, it can be very damaging to the health of individuals who are exposed to it. How this radioactive gas pollutes a closed structure is no longer a mystery. The uranium in the soil underneath the foundation of a home gradually breaks down, releasing radon gas as a side effect. Radon abatement is simply the process of dealing with this gas.
Professional Radon Abatement in
SWAT Environmental specializes in providing radon testing, reduction and eradication of the gas in this city, including surrounding areas such as Nassau, West Chester and Queen counties. SWAT’s specialists install high quality radon mitigation systems in homes that contain indoor radon levels at or above 4.0 picocuries per liter. According the Environmental Protection Agency, every home needs to be tested for radon gas at least once every two years. This is particularly vital in an area like that is particularly prone to radon contamination.
If you suspect that your home may contain unsafe levels of radon gas, you should immediately contact SWAT Environmental to have a radon abatement expert test for its presence. A preliminary test that takes about 48 hours is typically conducted to determine whether any danger exists. A more advanced procedure may then need to be performed depending on the type of foundation beneath the home. Most radon-contaminated homes must then undergo sub-slab depressurization to ensure that the families living in them are protected.
During sub-slab depressurization — also known as sub-slab suction — a pipe attached to a specialized ventilation fan is made to run through the slab to reach the ground beneath the foundation. The vent fan draws gas in to release it outside, bypassing the interior of the home. Another slight variation in procedure is used for homes that are fairly new. Here, air pressure variation acts as the impetus for the system instead of vent fans used in the earlier version. Different types of houses will require different types of radon abatement systems; SWAT’s experts can determine which will work best in your house.
Consequences of Avoiding Radon Abatement
Radon gas from beneath the ground brings with it a host of radioactive particles when it decays; they can easily become trapped in human lungs. These radioactive particles, once they are inhaled, can easily damage the lung tissue. Property owners in who are unsure whether their property contains a high level of radon should have testing performed to make sure that their property does not become one of the homes that claim almost 21,000 lives in the United States due to radon-caused lung cancer each year.