Radon Levels in Winston Salem
The Impact on Your Health of Radon Gas in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Radon contamination can be a concern no matter where you live, but it is particularly prevalent across much of North Carolina. In particular, homes in the Winston-Salem area tend to contain radon levels between 2.0 and 4.0pCi/L. Therefore, if you live in or near Winston-Salem you should have your home tested regularly for possible high radon levels. Eight counties in North Carolina are categorized as Zone One counties with radon sometimes higher than 4.0 pCi/L. Many homes in these counties are built on rock formations that contain high concentrations of uranium and radium, elements that are often responsible for radon creation. Since 1984, a 4.0 pCi/L reading has been the action point for radon mitigation to prevent harm to the residents of the home’s occupants. Results of about 2.0 pCi/L are much less likely to be dangerous; levels at or over 4.0 pCi/L, however, should not be taken lightly.
Homes in the Winston-Salem area are generally constructed on slabs, basements or crawlspaces. Radon gases can enter these homes in several ways. Radon originates in the soil or rock underneath the house. As the gases in the soil rise, they become trapped under the house; the house can then act as a vacuum and suck the gases inside, trapping and concentrating them. The common points of entry into a house are cracks in the floor; gaps in suspended floors and around sump pumps, drains, construction materials, utility pipes, wires and the like. Radon gas can enter your house through the water supply as well, especially if you use well water. The water can then release the gas when it is used, such as for washing clothes or dishes or during a shower.
Testing Radon Levels in Winston-Salem
If you wish, you can test your home’s radon levels with a short term radon test kit, which can return results within a few days, or with a long term test kit, which can take about 90 days to complete. If either test returns readings at or above 4.0 pCi/L, you should take steps to correct the radon problem, since this much radon gas exposure can put you at risk for lung cancer and other health ailments. You can also have SWAT Environmental perform a professional radon test of your home if you wish your results to be faster and more accurate.
Reducing Radon Levels in Winston-Salem
If necessary, you can hire SWAT Environmental’s experts to mitigate the radon in your home in accordance with National Environmental Health Association and National Radon Safety Board mitigation program guidelines. In addition, the North Carolina Radiation Protection Department has resources on the dangers of radon and on managing the problem. The goal of the organization is to have more homes built with radon-resistant techniques, to make radon testing and mitigation mandatory with property sales, to have schools tested regularly for high radon levels and to create a network of concerned organizations within the state to help reduce the dangers of radon.
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