Archive for July, 2012
Staying Safe from Waterborne Radon in Winston-Salem, NC
It is important for people who reside in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to be aware of the possibility of radon contaminating their home water supplies — a possibility of which many people are completely unaware. Radon is a harmful gas that can enter a home either through its foundation or through its water supply. The gas is odorless and colorless and does not have any taste, so it is possible that you could drink water that is contaminated with radon and not be aware of the fact. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified cities across the country that are at a particularly high risk for waterborne radon; Winston-Salem, unfortunately, ranks near the top of the list. Therefore, you should take all possible precautions to protect yourself from exposure to this dangerous radioactive gas. The only way for you to detect its presence in your water supply is to have your home tested.
Radon in Water Can be Dangerous
Radon in water can be particularly dangerous because it has been proven to place people at risk for developing lung cancer. That is why people who live in an area that tends to contain high levels of radon must take precautions in regards to their water supply in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. Radon gas in a person’s home can have serious health consequences. If radon is present in your water supply, you are exposed to the radon every time you turn the water, allowing the gas to escape into the air your home’s residents breathe. This means that the more you are exposed to radon, the higher the possibility that you could develop lung cancer.
Testing for Waterborne Radon
If you suspect that there may be radon in water in your home, you should hire professional help from SWAT Environmental immediately. It is your responsibility to have your home tested for radon exposure. A radon mitigation specialist is the only way to truly confirm whether or not a home has been contaminated with radon. On average, testing for radon requires about 90 days. It takes this amount of time in order for the radon mitigation specialist to get a clear picture of the amount of radon present in the home. However, other radon testing methods can also be performed that take a shorter amount of time in some circumstances.
Handling Radon in Water
If the test determines that your home’s water supply contains dangerously high levels of radon, the next step is to have SWAT Environmental’s experts install any necessary equipment to remove it. Several different types of equipment that can accomplish this; different houses will be best served by different radon abatement options. SWAT Environmental’s radon abatement specialists will be able to tell which option is best for your specific problem, and can install it to ensure that you do not suffer any ill effects from radon exposure.
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Radon gas levels in Winston-Salem, North Carolina are higher than in most other locations around the country. This is because much of the city is built on ground that contains a significant amount of rock formations containing high levels of uranium, the element primarily responsible for radon gas creation. When uranium gradually breaks down in the ground over long periods of time, it produces radioactive radon as a side effect. It is estimated that over 25 percent of the homes in the Winston-Salem area contain dangerously high levels of radon gas.
The Importance of Radon Abatement
Radon can cause a number of health problems by damaging healthy cells and tissue. When radon gas is breathed in, it damages the lining of the lungs, and is the second most common cause of cancer in the United States next to smoking. Radon is odorless, tasteless and invisible, so it can only be detected through proper testing. Do-it-yourself test kits are available, or you can have SWAT Environmental perform a professional test for you. Of course, SWAT’s specialists can also handle the radon abatement process if it proves to be necessary.
Radon Abatement in Winston-Salem
Radon abatement involves drastically reducing accumulated interior levels of radon gas to ensure that it does not cause any health problems to that home’s residents. The best methods of removal depend on how the radon is getting into the home. For example, the ideal radon abatement techniques would be different for a house that is built over a crawlspace as opposed to over a basement or a concrete slab.
Various Radon Abatement Techniques
The removal of radon gas from most homes is accomplished with some type of specialized system of vents and fans to draw the radon out of the house to the outdoors. In many cases, it is necessary to actually drill into the floor or slab to run suction pipes into the ground below. This pulls the gas out from under the house, preventing it from getting inside in the first place. Radon can also be reduced by covering a crawlspace floor with heavy duty plastic sheeting and sealing the edges to the crawlspace wall with caulk.
Since Winston-Salem is known for its high levels of radon, SWAT Environmental’s specialists are well trained in proper radon abatement techniques. North Carolina recognizes two types of radon removal certifications for abatement contractors. The first is known as the Mitigation Specialist certification, which requires contractors to take a written test. The second, the Radon Remediation Specialist certification, also requires a written exam as well as more extensive training.
If you own a house in Winston-Salem, NC and have not yet had a radon test performed, you should do so as soon as possible. Radon is a health hazard that you should not allow to remain in your home, for the sake of both your own health and that of your family members.