Archive for July, 2012
High Levels of Radon in Water Supplies
Alongside modern advancements in technology to ensure clean water and air has come an increased awareness of radon and the dangers associated with it. This radioactive gas cannot be detected by the ordinary human senses; therefore, a radon test must be performed to determine whether the gas is present in a particular building or water supply. When present, radon in water can create serious health risks in those exposed to it. Many people in Raleigh, North Carolina have become ill because of radon and some have even been killed by health complications like cancer that often result from this potentially deadly gas.
Radon can be found all over the country, not just in Raleigh, but this area’s residents should be particularly aware of the dangers of radon exposure since this area tends to generate unusually high radon levels. Radon is a completely natural substance and typically not harmful when released freely into the air. Radon in water, however, can be released into a home’s air every time a faucet is opened. When radon gas is trapped in a small space over a long period of time, it can build up to the point that it becomes a health hazard. This occurs at an alarming rate in the Raleigh area, which is why you should understand the importance of radon testing and potential prevention methods for a home contaminated by radon.
The Dangers of Radon in Water
Radon naturally generates as a side effect of the decomposition of radioactive elements in the ground; this often allows it to contaminate underground water supplies. Efforts are currently underway to help educate the public about how radon in water can impact health. North Carolina has a higher level of waterborne radon when compared to other states nationwide. The average North Carolina body of water contains over 540 pCi/L of radon; this is two hundred points higher than the national average. Of course, not all water supplies in North Carolina are quite that high. Most public water supplies, in particular, tend to be somewhat lower. However, the risk is high enough to be worth taking seriously.
How To Reduce Airborne and Waterborne Radon Levels
The stakes, therefore, are clear. In light of them, it is extremely important, as a Raleigh homeowner, that you have your house and your house’s water supply tested regularly for unhealthy amounts of radon. If you do find out that your home contains dangerously high radon levels, you can have SWAT Environmental radon abatement specialists take any necessary measures to reduce your radon exposure. Specialized aeration systems can help remove the radon from the water, as can granular activated carbon filters. SWAT’s experts can choose and install these options to ensure that you do not experience any health problems from waterborne radon.
Since the negative effects of radon in water are so serious, you have should have the problem dealt with immediately once you find out about it. Schedule a test today and live healthier tomorrow.
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Radon in Raleigh: What You Should Know About Radon Gas Risks
Raleigh, North Carolina is a historic city with a modern edge. Founded in 1792, Raleigh is North Carolina’s state capital. It began to urbanize in the early nineteenth century, and it survived the Civil War relatively unscathed. The city of Raleigh today is a modern, ethnically diverse and rapidly expanding city with strong business and research sectors. However, many Raleigh residents are completely unaware of a potentially deadly problem in both the business and residential areas of the city — radon gas contamination.
What is Radon Gas and why is Radon Abatement Necessary?
Radon is a gas that rises out of the ground and can sometimes penetrate floor slabs and foundation walls, potentially becoming trapped inside and negatively affecting the air quality in a home. Radon is a byproduct of the decay of naturally occurring radioactive uranium; prolonged exposure to elevated levels of the gas can cause serious respiratory problems, up to and including lung cancer.
Radon can build up to dangerous levels in any house, but newer, more energy efficient homes are at especially high risk. Because air leakage means heat leakage, better insulated modern homes with air barriers and detailing that minimizes drafts have fewer air changes per hour than older, leakier houses. The details that minimize air leakage out of the house can also help to prevent air leakage into the house, which means that once radon gas enters, it will take longer to clear. It is important to test newer homes for radon gas regularly, especially if they are in a high risk area like that in and around Raleigh.
What is Radon Abatement?
Since radon diffuses through porous concrete slabs and foundation walls, sealing the inside surfaces of the walls can slow it down. However, the most effective way to prevent radon from entering a home is to relieve the pressure that pushes the gas from the soil, through the walls and into the air supply. SWAT Environmental’s experts can accomplish this through the installation of a specialized ventilation or pressurization system.
Do Many Homes in Raleigh Require Radon Abatement?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places Raleigh in a zone two area for radon, which means it is at a moderately elevated radon gas risk. The average indoor level of radon in Raleigh is between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L. Levels over 4.0 pCi/L require radon abatement, and the EPA recommends that homeowners with radon levels between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L consider radon abatement. Only levels below 2.0 pCi/L are considered completely safe.
Raleigh contains historic neighborhoods, brand new residential developments and everything in between. Older houses were not constructed with radon abatement in mind. Houses that are no longer new may have cracked and settled enough to let radon past the safeguards that were meant to keep it out. Very new houses are closer than ever to airtight and may not give radon enough of an opportunity to escape through natural ventilation. Therefore, no matter what the age of your home, you should monitor its radon levels closely through regular testing.