Archive for July, 2012
Waterborne Radon and Its Impact on Norwalk, Connecticut
Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive and cancer-causing gas that could be in your Norwalk, Connecticut home right now, right under your nose. This odorless, tasteless, and transparent killer is responsible for thousands of deaths in the United Stated every year, and excess exposure means putting you and your family at risk for both lung and stomach cancer. Worse yet, while some people have heard of the risks of airborne exposure, radon in water is an issue with which many in the Norwalk area are unfamiliar.
Radon is a decaying form of radium, a byproduct that can be created naturally in rock, soil and sometimes water. Deposits of this element found in the earth surrounding ground water mean that the resulting radon in water has the perfect chance to escape and contaminate that water. When wells later tap into those water supplies, the radon can be pulled into homes along with the water. As the City of Norwalk’s own website notes, many “residents relay on ground water for all or part of their drinking supply.”
While the city has enacted an Aquifer Protection Area Program to protect the land above some of these water sources, this typically only protects from above-ground pollution, not from naturally occurring hazards within the ground itself like radon. Moreover, for the many Norwalk residents who rely on private wells, even this small protection is irrelevant, since it only impacts individuals connected to the public water supply.
How Can My Family Be Harmed by Radon in Water?
Once your ground water has become contaminated with radon, it is not long before it makes its way into your home. At this point, ingestion of the contaminated water, putting you at increased risk for stomach and intestinal cancer, is just the first problem. In addition, typical household chores, from doing dishes, to cooking, to doing laundry, to showering, can all release the waterborne radon into the air. In its gaseous form, radon has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Whether you suspect that you have radon in your water or not, it is important that you take the steps necessary to ensure that your Norwalk, Connecticut home is protected. Having your home’s air and water tested for elevated radon levels is the first step. Radon levels higher than 4.0 pCi/L mean that you definitely have a problem.
SWAT Environmental’s radon mitigation and removal specialists are trained in the details of testing the air and water in a house for contamination. As experts in their field, they have the equipment and experience necessary to analyze potential contamination and to recommend the best steps to prevent or remove the problem. Not only will these licensed specialists be able to perform any necessary testing, they will also be able to actually protect your Norwalk home from the dangers of radon in water by installing equipment to remove it if it is present.
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One of the more common dangerous gasses that a person may encounter is radon. Radon is undetectable to the normal human senses since it is both invisible and odorless. It is also a noble gas, which means it is fairly unreactive in most situations. However, this radioactive gas is a strong carcinogen, or substance that can cause cancer. Since radon gas can be created naturally, it is important that you educate yourself on how to detect it, and what to do if you do detect it in your home.
How Can Radon Abatement Help You?
Radon abatement is the process of clearing a building of radon gas. More specifically, the idea is to dilute the radon gas into the atmosphere, where it becomes harmless. Radon, like many other harmful substances, is only lethal in high concentrations. Depending on the circumstances, there are several ways this radon abatement can be accomplished. You should rely on the expertise of SWAT Environmental’s radon abatement specialists to decide which strategy is best in your home. In most cases, the abatement will involve some combination of sealing the means by which the radon is getting inside, then using a specialized ventilation or pressurization radon abatement system to prevent its reentry and remove the gas already in the house.
What Services Are Part of the Radon Abatement Process?
There are two main categories of services available when you have SWAT Environmental perform a radon abatement in your house. The first, as mentioned above, is simply removing the gas. How this is done and how long it takes will depend on the specific situation in your home. Many people assume that this is the extent of the radon abatement process. In many cases, however, this must be preceded by the arguably more important step of detection. Since human beings cannot detect radon gas on their own, specialized equipment is necessary to determine whether a house has been contaminated by radon. SWAT Environmental’s abatement technicians can handle this professional testing, as well as the actual radon gas removal.
A Final Note on Radon Abatement
The primary danger from extended exposure to high radon gas levels is lung cancer. Since the gas can be inhaled with no immediately noticeable effects, you and your family members might never realize you were being put at risk until it was too late. The gas is not flammable, nor will it cause suffocation or similarly dramatic symptoms. Due to the difficulties in detecting it, and the long term nature of its symptoms, it is vital to run proper checks for radon gas’s presence from time to time. In serious cases, it may be necessary to secure a temporary place to stay or work if toxic levels of radon gas are found. This will give the radon abatement specialists time to remove the gas and to ensure that it will not come back. Proper planning and prevention, however, can keep the situation from ever becoming this serious.