Posts Tagged ‘radon levels west virginia’
The Health Impact of Beckley’s Radon Gas
Beckley, along with thousands of other cities nationwide, has a radon problem. Radon is a radioactive gas that is caused by the breakdown of the uranium found naturally in the soil. The resulting gas from the uranium’s decay is colorless, odorless and tasteless, but it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States; only smoking is responsible for more lung cancer cases. The national average radon levels outside is 0.4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter), with average inside levels of 1.3 pCi/L. Beckley’s average inside level is between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L, which is in the moderate range. The higher the concentration of radon levels in your home, the higher your risk of resulting health problems. As time goes by, the chances of health problems developing from the radon increases further.
What Causes Radon Levels to Rise in a Home
Although radon gas originates in the soil, it can gradually work its way into crawl spaces and basements, and from there into the rest of the home. Gaps left in the foundation, cracks in cement floors, gaps around service pipes and similar spaces can all offer a route for the gas to find its way into your home. In addition, radon can be found in well water in some cases, providing another means for the gas to enter your house.
How to Check Your House’s Radon Levels
You have multiple options for how to determine your home’s radon levels. The best option is to have SWAT Environmental send out a trained professional testing expert to your home. However, if you so desire, you can also perform a test yourself to get some idea of your house’s radon levels. There are two types of home test kits available: short term and long term. Since radon levels can vary from day to day, to obtain the most accurate reading, the long term test is generally preferable. With either test, simply follow the included instructions, reseal the test and send it to the lab specified on the package for analysis.
What to Do After Determining Your Radon Levels
The EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, believes that any radon exposure above that of outdoor air can potentially be harmful. However, 4.0 pCi/L is the cutoff they have established for serious health risks. If testing determines that your home contains excessively high radon levels, have SWAT Environmental take immediate steps to lower them. There are a variety of ways to lower the radon levels in your home; they may include such options as sealing cracks that let the gas in and installing a specialized pipe and fan system to pull the gas in your house outside. Serious though high radon levels are, they are definitely a correctable problem. SWAT Environmental’s trained experts can study your home’s unique design, location and specific radon gas problems and sources to help you pick the optimal treatment method.
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