The Need for Radon Testing
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that forms when radioactive elements decay. It is typically found in the ground and can easily seep into the air and water. Unfortunately, it can also get into your home or business, and long-term exposure can cause serious health problems. Here is a look at how radon gets into your home, the problems it can cause, why you should consider radon testing for your residential or commercial structure, and when elevated mitigation levels of radon are present.
Radon in Your Home
Radon is located all throughout the United States, but the place where most people are exposed to this cancer-causing gas is inside their own homes, which is why radon testing can save your life. One neighborhood might perform radon testing and find that the levels are high, while a few miles away, another neighborhood finds normal or below normal levels through radon testing. All 50 states have reported high levels in various places at some point in time. It all depends on what is in the soil and earth beneath homes and how it travels through the air. Radon testing shows that it can come through cracks in your foundation or floors, construction joints, cracks in your walls, gaps in service pipes, and other areas that are exposed to air. Radon testing may also show that levels are higher in your basement than in the upper levels of your home.
In some cases, the building materials used to build your home, such as concrete, can expose you and your family to radon. Granite counter-tops can also lead to exposure to the gas. Essentially, any item made from natural materials from the ground can potentially cause a radon problem in your home. It can also infuse itself into well water and enter the home every time you turn on a faucet.
Radon in Your Business
Just like in the home, radon can enter your business or any other structure through air, water, or the materials used to build it. However, certain businesses are also more prone to exposure. Anyone who works underground, such as a miner, is at a greater risk. Processors of phosphate fertilizers and farmers or landscapers who use the product may also be at risk for exposure. Uranium enrichment factories also tend to have increased radon levels.
Affects on Your Health
While radon is a natural gas, long-term exposure can cause some serious health problems for anyone who is exposed. This is why radon testing is important. According to the American Cancer Society, small radioactive particles created by the gas can get into your lungs and eventually lead to lung cancer. As a matter of fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind cigarettes. Some studies have shown that radon can also lead to other lung problems such as pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2005–2006 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Report, over 21,000 people die in the United States each year because of radon.
Environmental Protection Agency
Because of the health problems that radon gas can cause, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests that all homes should undergo radon testing. It also says radon testing is important for schools. The EPA says that radon testing should be conducted in all levels of your home below the third level.
Radon Testing and Reducing Exposure
Radon is all around us and it is impossible to avoid it altogether, but radon testing in your home or business, as well as radon testing in the soil that surrounds it, will help you maintain safe levels. Two types of radon testing are available: short-term radon testing which lasts anywhere from 2 to 90 days and long-term radon testing which lasts longer than 90 days. Both types are easy to perform and do not take long.
A professional company like SWAT Environmental can then come into your home or business and help lower the levels with its expert mitigation techniques. SWAT Environmental will take steps to figure out how the gas is getting inside your home with its sophisticated radon testing equipment and then work to prevent it from continuing to do so in the future. According to the EPA, radon testing can lead to a reduction of levels of up to 99%. SWAT Environmental will do whatever it takes to make sure the threat is removed, and you and your family or employees can work in a safe, healthy environment.