There are a lot of details that homeowners need to keep track of in and around their property. Homeowners have to concern themselves with their HVAC systems, keeping their roofing safe and in good condition and making sure intruders do not get in. As if that was not enough, they may need to contract with a local radon mitigation company to remove the dangerous gas from their home.
Recently, the Public health Director at the Northeast Colorado Health Department published some information that homeowners need to have about radon gas. Dr. Tony Capello discussed the dangers of having elevated levels of the gas in a home and what steps can be taken to remove it. He published his thoughts in the Journal Advocate.
Radon gas is officially called radon-22. It is produced when Uranium-238 breaks down. uranium-238 can be found all over the planet in the crust. As it breaks down, it produces the radon gas. As this is also radioactive, when it starts to break down, it emits both alpha and beta particles that are charged. This is a rapid process. The substance has a half life of approximately 96 hours. It is transferred to the surrounding water, soil and air. It can be ingested from the water but the bigger issue is the inhalation of the radon gas.
The problem for homeowners that often leads to hiring a residential radon testing services company and local radon mitigation company is that when the gas collects in an area, it can reach dangerous levels. When radon-22 breaks down a releases the particles with the charge, they revert to a solid form. When they are inhaled, they can lodge in the lung, where they cause a ton of problems.
Both the United States Office of the Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found exposure to radon gas is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. Only smoking tobacco products can cause more cases. In fact, every year, at least 21,000 people in the United States die from lung cancers that were caused by exposure to the dangerous gas.
To get a sense of how radioactive the substance is, you only need to look to Pennsylvania. In the 1980s, a worker at a nuclear power plant was found to have been contaminated by radiation. When the situation was investigated, the source of the radiation was not his place of work but his home. He had very high levels of radon gas in his home.
The good news is that there are things that homeowners can do to protect themselves. This is crucial because when the EPA did random testing for the gas (they looked at homes in seven states and on three Native American spaces), they found that at least one in three homes had elevated radon levels. The first step in protecting yourself and your family is to know the status of your home. There are a lot of radon testing and inspection companies that can let you know how much of it is in your home.
People who learn they have elevated radon levels can get rid of it. By contacting your local radon mitigation company, you can have it safely removed from your home. Generally they put in materials to trap the radon gas that is already in your home and remove it with some sort of fan system. After the company completes the radon mitigation and abatement service, the home is tested again for radon gas.
If there is a water source that has been contaminated with radon, the local radon mitigation company will use aeration system to get it out of the water before it reaches the faucets in the home. These systems can force the radon gas out of the water and out of the home through a similar system to what is used to remove the rest of the gas.
If you have radon in your home, it is important to understand how it is getting in. It may be in the soil and rocks around your home. You need to keep an eye on your foundation and place a cap on your sump pump, if you have one. You should not panic, radon can be removed.