Radon - A Faceless Killer

Aside from smoking, radon is the biggest cause of lung cancer deaths. According to the EPA, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer death, accounting for around 21,000 deaths annually. It's possible it's hiding in plain sight in your house right this minute. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that one in every 15 households has dangerously high radon levels. It can live in your house, but not the one next door, and it can be found in every part of every state.
Radioactive uranium and radium are common in rock, soil, and even some well water, and their decay produces a gas known as radon. High amounts of radon were first identified in uranium mines in the 1950s, but the possibility that it posed a concern in homes wasn't recognised until one employee at a nuclear power station accidentally triggered radiation contamination alarms on his way to work in the 1980s.
Radon is a radioactive gas that cannot be seen or smelled and causes irreparable lung damage before any symptoms appear. Radon gas can seep up through the ground and into homes. There is a constant inhalation of the gases carried by the rising heated air because the rising air produces a vacuum. It can sneak in through the tiniest of crevices, including those in the foundation, the walls, the floor, and the sump pump and drain. Radon is a nameless foe that creeps in and kills insidiously.
Is there a virus in you?
Invisible to the naked eye, radon toronto is a silent killer that could be prevented if only you took the time to test your home. Even though radon testing is only required in some areas when selling a property, it is still a good idea to get a test done whether you just moved in, are looking to sell, or have lived there for years. It is becoming increasingly normal practise to do a test before buying a home, and this is strongly encouraged.
The radon levels in your house can be checked in a number of different methods. Both passive and active tests are simple enough for the average person to conduct on their own. An active test takes longer but is the initial step. These are typically temporary and involve leaving canisters with charcoal in the area of interest for an allotted amount of time (usually from 3-7 days). If radon is present, it will produce chemical changes in the canister's contents, which can be detected and studied by sending the item in the pre-paid mailer to a lab. Radon levels can vary depending on the time of year and the weather, so the EPA suggests taking two consecutive short-term tests to get the most accurate picture possible.
Short-term testing can also be done with an alpha track detector, which is a device made of foil, film, or plastic that counts the particles released by decaying radon gas. A sample of the air is impacted by a particle, leaving a small dent, which is then quantified in a lab to determine the concentration of radon in the air.
Electricity is needed for the extended period of time during the active test. In comparison to shorter-term testing, these can stay in the house for 90 days or longer, giving you a more accurate assessment of the average yearly radon concentration. These are always-on monitors that log information and check in on their own performance at regular intervals. Some of them can even keep track of the weather, air pressure, and humidity levels. Some long-term tests are affordable, but the most accurate ones can cost up to $400 for a kit and are often best given by a medical practitioner.


What should you do if you discover elevated radon levels after learning how to conduct a radon test in your home? While the prospect of living with a potentially lethal gas may seem overwhelming at first, rest assured that hundreds of thousands of other homeowners have been there and done that.
A number of measures can be taken to keep radon gas out of your house. It's far easier to prevent water damage if you can discover the exact point of entry, like a sump pump, a pipe, or a break in the foundation, and seal it off. This is a low-cost solution, but may not provide total protection, as it may be only one of many avenues of entry. However, the EPA does not view sealing as a main method of reduction.
The radon gas can also be dispersed from the house by creating a "fresh air bubble" under it. An average cost is roughly $600 but, while this can be beneficial, it is unpredictable and needs loose soil and careful sealing.
A common method of mitigating this risk is to install a fan in the basement that exhausts air far above the roof, directing the air away from the house and away from the potential for it to rise through the structure. You can get this done for less than $2000. If your home has a crawl space beneath it, you can further reduce the risk of exposure by installing a layer of special plastic, sealed to the outer walls, under which the exhaust pipe can rest.
Finding the source of radon in your house and repairing it is essential to maintaining a safe and pleasant environment for you and your family. Don't fear if you detect radon in preparation for selling your property. Taking precautions to keep it out can turn it into a selling point rather than a hindrance. Radon testing is a smart and lifesaving choice whether you're buying, selling, or have lived in your home for a long time.
Publicado en Health en noviembre 19 at 12:14
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