Archive for April, 2012
Measuring Radon Levels is Important
Radon gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, but excessive exposure to it can be fatal. Homes can be found in all 50 states that contain radon levels, and the Colorado Springs area is no exception. Therefore, it is important for all houses in this area to be tested regularly. Even if homes near yours contain low radon levels, it is still possible for the levels in your house to be dangerously elevated. Testing is really the only way to know for sure how much radon gas is in a particular building.
Radon can find its way into a home through a crack in its foundation, walls or floors. It can also be found in its water, especially well water. Human exposure to elevated radon levels can be very dangerous as the gas is a carcinogen; in fact, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is formed by the radioactive breakdown of radium and other elements that are found naturally in almost all soil. When the radon becomes trapped inside a home, it may build to levels much higher — and much more dangerous — than those outside.
Colorado Springs Radon Levels
Once radon gas has been produced in the soil it moves through the ground into the air above, although some does remain in the soil and dissolves in water that flows underground. The average radon levels around the Colorado Springs area can reach 7.5 pCi/L. It has been determined that the levels above 4.0 pCi/l are unsafe in a home, school or workplace. The measurement pCi/l stands for picocuries per liter; it is the standard method for measuring radon levels.
If you live in Colorado Springs, you can request that a radon test be done during the inspection before buying a new home. If the radon levels are excessively high, you can put a mitigation system on the Inspection Resolution Form. In order to test for the radon it is necessary to place two canisters in the lowest finished area of the home. They are placed about four inches apart and left exposed for the exact same time period. The house must be closed up for 12 hours before the test. After the test is finished the canisters are taken to a local testing center for analysis.
Of course, you should still have your home’s radon levels tested regularly to ensure that you and your family are safe. You can perform a home version of this test yourself, although it may take some time to complete. A professional test from SWAT Environmental’s experts will be both quick and accurate. If your home does contain excessively high radon levels, they will be able to plan and install any necessary mitigation systems. This will protect you and your family members from the ill effects of high radon levels.
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