Archive for March, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 @ 05:03 PM
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The Invisible Cigarette: Why You Need Radon Mitigation

Radon Mitigation MarylandRadon gas cannot be seen and cannot be smelled, but the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that it causes over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that results from the breakdown of uranium in soil, water and rock. Therefore, you should rely on SWAT Environmental’s radon mitigation specialists to ensure that your family is safe.

While radon gas is an issue every home should address, homes in the Columbia, Maryland area are particularly susceptible to high radon levels. Radon is the second highest cause of lung cancer in the Columbia area, as radon levels are generally higher in the northeast area of the United States. Columbia falls in Maryland’s highest potential home radon zone meaning that homes are predicted to contain as much as 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Ideally, a home should contain less than 2.0 pCi/L; any home that contains over 4.0 pCi/L is at high risk and should have radon mitigation done immediately. Some Maryland homes have reported radon levels as high as 200 pCi/L, almost 50 times higher than EPA guidelines.

Radon is not harmful in the open air, but when it becomes trapped in a home it can quickly build up to toxic levels. The radioactive gas can seep through any gap or opening in a home, including cracks in its floors and foundations — even through the water supply. Living in a house with a 10.0 pCi/L level is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

SWAT Environmental Radon Remediation & Radon Mitigation Maryland

Although Maryland has yet to establish an official radon program, SWAT Environmental specialists can handle all necessary radon mitigation measures in your home. Houses with a high radon level may require the installation of a variety of radon mitigation systems. Most new homes in the Howard County region, as with most new homes in any high potential radon zone, are now being built with radon resistant features. Therefore, adding them to your home can not only help protect your family; it can also help significantly boost its resale value.

Although radon most often enters a home by rising out of the soil beneath it, it can also sometimes enter it through its water. Although soil entry poses a much greater risk, high radon levels in water can also cause health problems after inhalation or ingestion. Ground water systems are at the highest risk for radon contamination. Most public water suppliers test point-of-entry radon levels, but private wells based on ground water should be tested for radon independently.

Radon testing can be as simple as purchasing a home radon detector. However, these do-it-yourself kits will not return the extremely accurate results you can expect from professional testing. Similarly, it is important to not simply hire a general contractor to attempt your radon mitigation. A certified radon mitigation firm like SWAT Environmental can complete a far more thorough and precise check of your home than can a general company, ensuring that your family truly is protected from the radon problem.