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Radon Testing

Radon is an invisible, odorless radioactive killer. It is attributed to causing over 20,000 cases each year of lung cancer. It is found in outdoor air and in indoor air. It is more likely concentrated in homes that are built below ground level.


Radon Zones in the United States

Having testing done on acceptable radon levels can save you from health risks and disease. High levels of radon can be addressed and steps taken to reduce the levels.

What is Radon?

Radon is a gas that is produced from the decomposition of uranium or radium that is present in most all soil types. Radon, while naturally occurring, can be deadly. It is something that you can detect with the help from a kit from a home improvement or hardware store.

Radon seeps up from the soil into the air outdoors and indoors. When you have a home that is located underground you are much more likely to get deadly seepage in through the walls and floors of your home. Your home can act like a catalyst for the radon to collect and build up over time becoming a deadly component of your indoor air.

It is also possible for radon to enter the indoor space through well water. It can seep in through your faucets, drains and pipes. So, in effect, underground homes that use well water especially need to be tested for radon. Some deep wells may need to be adequately ventilated or even capped if this is the case. If concerned then hiring an experience radon consultant may be warranted.

Health Risks

There are serious health risks that are associated with higher than normal levels of radon in indoor air. One of the most serious risks is developing lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers. Radon is a known carcinogen.

The EPA strongly recommends that you have your home tested especially if it is an underground home. Houses with basements are also vulnerable.

As a matter of fact to minimize health risks the EPA recommends that every home is tested. If you have had your home tested and plan on moving your sleeping quarters or living space to a lower level in your home like your basement than you should test it again.

Acceptable Levels

The acceptable levels are described in one of two ways. Picocuries Per Litre or Working Levels are usually the way Radon is reported. The pc/l and w/l acceptable levels are less than 4 for pc/l and lower than .016 wl. If after testing the levels are higher than those acceptable levels than the home or building should be repaired.

The short answer to Radon testing in underground homes a necessity is YES! If you are buying, building or selling an underground home you need to test for Radon levels.

What to do

There are a couple of different methods that can be undertaken to minimize the amount of radon gas in one's underground or earth-sheltered home.

First, using a granular backfill, waterproofing and adequate drainage will help keep radon outside the home and give it a pathway to the surface of the soil outdoors where it can dissipate in the surrounding air. Second, indoor ventilation is a must in which the air is turned over every one to two hours. Both methods should be used in combination to minimize risk.


External Links

EPA U. S. Radon map

http://www.epa.gov/radon/zonemap.html

Fix My House

http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/environhealth/Pages/RadonFix.aspx


 

 

 

 

 

 



 

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