Archive for July, 2012
Radon in Water – Chattanooga, Tennessee
Radon is an undetectable gas that is produced naturally underground, mostly radiated by rocks and soil. Waterborne radon, like airborne radon, is tasteless, colorless and odorless. It can get into a house via several different methods, but when it contaminates a house’s water supply, it can get inside so quickly and easily that you might have suffered serious health conditions as a result of accumulated radon exposure before you even realize that you have a problem.
Chattanooga area homes are at a higher risk of containing radon-contaminated water than many other parts of the country. Taking measures to detect and prevent exposure to radon in water, therefore, is vital if you live in this area. This is particularly important because research shows that exposure to radon is a leading cause for lung cancer, among other health problems. Only smoking causes more lung cancer cases than radon, and individuals who already smoke are at an even higher risk of getting lung cancer if they are also exposed to waterborne radon. Radon is responsible for roughly 20,000 lung cancer-related deaths in the United States every year.
Types of Tests for Radon in Water
There are two kinds of tests for radon: long-term and short-term. Most people who decide to do their own testing use the short-term test because it is cheap and can be completed in a fairly short period of time. However, you can also have a technician from SWAT Environmental perform a more accurate professional test. These tests will let you know whether further steps to remove radon from your home are necessary.
There are some important rules to follow if you do decide to test your home’s radon levels to ensure that your results are precise. Testing should be performed in the lowest spot in the house. In Tennessee, waterborne radon levels tend to be higher during hot times of year, so test repeatedly at different seasons for a more accurate reading. During the test, make sure the equipment is at least 20 inches off the floor to prevent disruptions. Avoid performing the test during strong winds or in other severe weather conditions. As soon as the test is concluded, send the materials in for analysis to the lab listed on the packaging. Even if your results show that your home does not contain unsafe radon levels, it is recommended that you continue test it for waterborne and airborne radon at least every two to five years, after major home renovations and after a new heating or central air conditioning system has been installed.
Dealing with Radon in Water
In Chattanooga homes, radon levels of 1.3 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) mean that no further preventive measurements need to be taken. However, if a home’s radon level is detected at 4.0 pCi/L or more, immediate steps must be taken to greatly reduce these levels. SWAT Environmental’s radon abatement experts will be able to determine whether the radon in your house comes from its water, its air or both, and can install specialized systems to purify each and to ensure that your family is protected.
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