Archive for July, 2012
The Health Impact of Radon in Water in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Radon is a gas that can be found in nature in the air and soil. Outside, its levels are so low as to not be harmful. Unfortunately, radon can also contaminate underground water supplies, allowing the gas to gradually build up in your home to the point that it becomes dangerous. Waterborne radon can also be ingested through drinking water. Either type of exposure can be very detrimental to your health if the gas is not properly and professionally removed. Removal of radon in water is not something that should be tackled by a homeowner as a do-it-yourself process, nor can this be complex process be professionally completed by a local plumber. Hiring a professional radon mitigation expert from SWAT Environmental can ensure proper removal of this dangerous gas. These experts have been properly trained in the detection and removal of radon in water supplies.
Health Risks from Radon in Water
It is a known fact that radon can be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) and should not be inhaled through the air or ingested through your home water supply. Inhaling airborne radon is linked to lung cancer, while swallowing waterborne radon is linked to stomach and other forms of cancer. Do not take the health risks associated with high radon levels in your drinking water lightly, especially if you have children; they tend to be particularly vulnerable to high levels of radon.
Waterborne Radon Detected in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Due to the large number of properties in this area that rely on well water, and the prevalence of natural radon creation in the region, there is a very high incidence of waterborne radon in Pittsburgh. Many people are under the impression that they can simply run water through a pitcher with a filter attached, or use a faucet-mounted filter, to remove radon in water. This is not true. Radon can only be removed professionally, using an aerated process that uses air to attach to the gas and allow it to release from the water and flow into the outdoor air.
Removal of Radon in Water in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
After you contact SWAT Environmental, an experienced radon mitigation specialist will come out to your home and do a full evaluation to determine the best way to mitigate the radon in your water supply. He will then put a plan in motion to ensure that more than 99 percent of this dangerous gas is removed, preventing it from harming you or your family. Of course, if you do not know what your home’s radon levels are, the first step is simply to have SWAT’s experts perform a test of your radon levels. Unfortunately, since radon is invisible, scentless and tasteless, this is the only way to tell when your home contains it.
The state of Pennsylvania requires that all radon mitigation experts pass a state licensure exam, proving that they understand the complexity of all possible radon abatement systems and which to use in different situations. Hiring an expert ensures that you are getting a skilled, state-licensed specialist that is using the most advanced technology available to protect your home.
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Pittsburgh’s Need for Radon Abatement
Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally created under the ground due to the natural decay of radioactive elements like thorium and uranium. The gas can sometimes seep into homes and potentially build to dangerous levels. Individuals that regularly inhale excessive levels of the gas are at a substantially increased risk of lung cancer. Radon gas has no taste or smell, which means that specialized testing is essential to ensure a home is safe. Children and the elderly are often more susceptible to the effects of radon gas than a typical adult, although anyone can be at risk.
Why Radon Abatement is Necessary
Areas in Pennsylvania that are vulnerable to indoor radon contamination include Pittsburgh, which contains a typical radon level that exceeds recommendations by the Environmental Protection Agency. The primary cause of radon in and around Pittsburgh is the fact that the area’s soil tends to be rich in shale, which contains the uranium that creates radon gas. Homes that contain many cracks in their foundation will be at an increased risk for high radon levels since they allow the gas to more easily enter from the ground outside.
Determining if Radon Abatement is Needed
Radon can also be accidentally released into homes by performing work around the home such as foundation repair and modifications to drain lines. This means that one house could contain acceptable levels and a neighbor’s could contain unacceptable levels and require abatement. The detection of radon in the home is a simple process that involves the use of a home kit; alternatively, you can have a professional test performed by a SWAT Environmental specialist. If your home contains dangerously high radon gas levels, professional radon abatement to lower them should be the immediate next step.
The Radon Abatement Process
The first step taken by SWAT Environmental’s specialists during the radon abatement or remediation process is to determine how the gas is seeping into a home — usually through its foundation or basement. Gas will typically enter the house if there are any cracks in the walls or floor of the bottom level. The next step is to seal these areas to prevent the gas from entering the home. Of course, this is only a temporary fix since new cracks can develop that will cause a recurrence of the gas. Therefore, the abatement specialist will also need to install a specialized ventilation or pressurization system to ensure that the gas stays out and to remove any gas that has already gotten into the house. Different houses will be best served by different types of radon abatement systems; SWAT Environmental’s experts will be able to design and install the best one for your home. Depending on the exact source of your home’s radon gas problem, a suitable solution will be used that prevents it from building up in your home again in the future — ensuring that you and your family are kept safe from radon’s ill effects.