Archive for June, 2012
Radon Gas: The Silent Killer of Raleigh, North Carolina
Radon is an invisible killer responsible for thousands of lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. This radioactive gas is has no scent, taste or appearance, so it can be present in your home without you having the slightest clue. The gas is particularly prevalent in the Raleigh, North Carolina region, so if you live in this area, you should be take the time to become informed about its dangers.
The Dangers of Elevated Radon Levels
Second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer, the existence of radon in the home significantly increases the residents’ risk of the disease, especially if they smoke as well. Young children tend to be highly susceptible to the damaging effects of high radon levels, possibly due to the fact that they often have an increased rate of respiration as compared to most adults. Common entry means for radon gas include cracks in the floors and walls, construction joints, spaces in the floor and around pipes and even the water supply.
Studies done in the Raleigh, North Carolina region have discovered some startling statistics regarding the presence of this deadly poison. The recommended exposure limit for radon set by the Environmental Protection Agency is 4.0 pCi/L. While many Raleigh homes do fall below this guideline, 10 percent of the area homes studied have returned radon levels higher than that recommendation, with almost another 20 percent right at the cutoff.
How to Detect Elevated Radon Levels
Since there is no way you can determine the presence of radon in your home using any of your five senses, it can be easy to ignore the possibility of the problem. “Out of sight, out of mind” seems to be an unfortunately common attitude toward the possibility of high radon levels — especially since it can take years for the effects of radon exposure to manifest themselves. However, specialized testing to determine the amount of radon in your house is a wise precaution. You can purchase inexpensive home radon test kits to use yourself if you wish, or you can have SWAT Environmental perform a faster and more accurate professional test of your house’s radon levels.
Preventing Elevated Radon Levels from Harming Your Family
Many new homes include preinstalled systems to prevent the buildup of radon levels. However, if your home does not already contain these features, but testing reveals dangerous radon levels, you should have SWAT Environmental design and install a radon mitigation system. The specific components necessary for this system will vary depending on your house and its radon levels, but its overall effect will be to prevent radon’s entrance into your home and to remove the radon your home already contains. Ultimately, the responsibility is yours to take action to prevent the harmful health impacts of exposure to high radon levels. Your health and that of your family members will be better for it.
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