Archive for July, 2012
Columbia’s Dangerous Water: How Will Radon in Water Affect You?
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that over 20,000 deaths each year are a direct result of exposure to excessively high levels of radon. Columbia, Maryland is unfortunately not immune to this trend. As a Columbia homeowner, therefore, you should be aware of the issue and the necessary precautions you should take to ensure that you and your family are protected from it.
Columbia residents now have a voice in the regulations that deal with radon in the area. The EPA has endeavored to improve the current lack of awareness about waterborne radon by recommending three possible limits for standard levels of radon in water: 4,000 pCi/L, 1,000 pCi/L and 300 pCi/L. Frankly, 4,000 pCi/L as a set standard is considered by many experts to still be too high.
Radioactive waste sites and even nuclear power plants often produce less radiation over long periods of time than that found in a home that contains 4,000 pCi/L of waterborne radon. Statistically, 1 out of 100 people who are consistently exposed to this amount of radon will die. The fact is that there is no such thing as a “safe” amount of built-up radon. Any accumulation can be harmful.
Some of the proposals currently in motion to lower radon levels to 300 pCi/L will affect communities that have over 25 people being served by a particular water district. Of course, these EPA regulations would not affect you if you use well water instead of city water. In this situation, however, you should be particularly vigilant about monitoring your home’s radon levels, since well water is actually more likely to be contaminated with radon than city water.
What is the Source of Radon in Water?
Radon is very soluble in water. Therefore, the substance can make you sick whether you inhale it in air or swallow it in water. The majority of the radon in contaminated water in a home is eventually released into the air and gradually inhaled anyway, further increasing its negative impact on the occupant’s health. Unfortunately, you cannot tell whether you are being exposed to radon unless you have your home’s water and air tested. One in five homes in the Columbia area may contain elevated radon levels, so taking the precaution of testing your home regularly is only common sense. Professional tests from SWAT Environmental and individual home test kits can both indicate whether your home contains unsafe radon levels.
If radon in water proves to be a problem in your home, you should have SWAT Environmental’s radon experts begin work to correct the issue as soon as possible. Of course, dealing with high levels of waterborne radon is not a “one size fits all” situation. A big part of the job done by SWAT’s technicians is simply studying your home and the source of the radon it contains to determine what systems will be necessary to remove it and to protect your family.
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