Posts Tagged ‘home’
New York is at High Risk of Radon and Vapor Intrusion
Did you know that radon vapor intrusion is quite common in the New York area? Unfortunately, it is, along with many of the other states across the United States. Homeowners living in New York may be exposed to radon due to high levels of vapor intrusion that have built up in their home without being released. This scenario places them at risk of developing lung cancer since radon is a known carcinogen.
Radon enters the home silently, typically through vapor intrusion, because it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It enters a building through cracks in the foundation and can even enter through basement windows or sump pump drains set in the floor of the basement. You never know that vapor intrusion has occurred in your New York home until you have it tested by radon mitigation specialists who come in and test for the level of contamination.
The EPA Realizes the Threat of Radon in New York
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has determined that minor vapor intrusion is safe up to a level of 4 pCI/L or picocuries per liter, suggesting that anything less than that is not harmful to your health. Obviously, the reverse is also believed to be true in that levels over 4 pCI/L or picocuries per liter of vapor intrusion is dangerous to your health, necessitating radon mitigation procedures to efficiently reduce these levels. Radon is a cancer-causing gas that should be eliminated from your home as quickly as possible to safeguard your family from dangerous health issues.
If you can’t smell it, see it, or taste it, why should you care that radon exists in your home? Even if you aren’t aware of the daily exposure to this radioactive gas, the threat is real. Each day that you go on living without radon mitigation procedures in place, you are exposing yourself to this radioactive gas with every single breath that you take, and thereby, increasing the chances that you will develop lung cancer.
Undergoing Radon Mitigation in New York
One of the most commonly used forms of radon mitigation is the active soil depressurization. When conducted correctly, this method of radon mitigation prevents the passage of vapor intrusion from entering the indoor air supply. Essentially, it balances the existing pressure between the ground and a building, thus eliminating the vacuum that previously allowed vapor intrusion to occur. If you are located in New York, you are at higher risk of this type of insidious contaminant and should look into your options for mitigating radon vapor intrusion.
If you suspect radon vapor intrusion in your New York home, then you should look into radon mitigation procedures including gas abatement. Contact a radon mitigation specialist and discuss your available options. A qualified radon mitigation company has the expertise, equipment, and knowledge needed to restore the safety of your New York home.
What Homeowners in New York Need to Know About Radon
According to the New York State Department of Health, the threat of radon in basements and living areas in New York homes is a significant cause for concern. Many counties throughout New York are completely or partially located in Zone 1 areas. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assigns Zone 1 status to locations in which indoor radon is above acceptable levels, posing a substantial threat to human health.
Radon Radioactive Gas
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in rock and soil wherever uranium is present. Uranium decays into radium which then decays into radon. This invisible, odorless gas is undetectable by human senses and can be breathed in as you sleep or move around your home. A high enough exposure for a lengthy enough period of time has a carcinogenic effect on the human body.
Breathing in radon particles can damage sensitive lung tissue. The Surgeon General of the United States reports that radon is the primary cause of lung cancer in people who do not smoke. Smoking (or being around a smoker) and being exposed to radon raises the risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer even higher. Each year some 21,000 Americans die from lung cancer attributed to radon pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Radon in New York Homes
Radon invades your home by seeping through cracks in your foundation, supporting structures (such as hollow block walls), and unsealed dirt floors (such as unfinished basements or crawl spaces). When radon is emitted into the outside air, it becomes diluted enough to be rendered harmless, but radon that is trapped under a home can build up to dangerous concentrations. Pulled into the house by depressurization or forced into it by outside air movements like high winds, radon can threaten your family’s respiratory health.
The only sure way to know if your family is at risk for indoor radon is to perform a test. Radon testing kits are available at local hardware stores, home improvement centers, and many supermarkets. Short-term tests usually take from 2 to 7 days to administer and give you an idea of the current level of radon in your home. Long-term tests can take from 3 months to 1 year and give you an annual average of indoor radon levels. The results of either test can provide you with your radon exposure in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The EPA recommends taking action to reduce radon when the level is over 4 pCi/L, but any amount of radon can be unhealthy.
If you test your New York home, or have it tested by a radon specialist, you may find that some form of radon reduction is needed. A certified radon mitigation specialist can help you decide which approach is best for your home and level of indoor radon. Homes with basements or slab on grade need different types of remedies than houses with crawlspaces. Some structures have specific areas of radon entry, while others have more diffuse entry paths. A certified radon mitigation specialist is trained to know which method to apply to which type of structure.