Archive for June, 2012
The Radon Risk in Pittston, Pennsylvania
The average 2010 radon levels in homes located in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where Pittston is located, have been measured at 1.3 pCi/L. The Environmental Protection Agency’s danger cutoff for radon gas is 4.0 pCi/L; you should have your home checked regularly to ensure that it falls below this level. Radon is an odorless gas that emanates out of the ground and can enter buildings through their lowest levels or basements. After smoking, radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer. Pittston’s city officials recommend conducting a test of radon levels every two to five years.
Detecting Elevated Radon Levels in Pittston
Radon is a naturally formed gas that is a byproduct of the radioactive decay of uranium in the soil. The Environmental Protection Agency has grouped radon testing into two categories: short term and long term testing. Short term radon testing in Pittston requires between two days and a week of monitoring with special devices. Long term radon testing requires 30 days of measuring and monitoring of any gas levels detected. You can purchase home radon testing kits at most hardware stores and home improvement stores. Complete illustrated instructions are included in the kits, as well as the locations where the kits and their contents should be sent for analysis. Of course, you can also have SWAT Environmental perform a professional test for improved accuracy and convenience.
How to Reduce Radon Levels
High radon levels can be a problem throughout the United States. Fortunately, SWAT Environmental’s radon experts can use three different methods which will reduce the amount of radon gas in the air. One process consists of sub-slab depressurization, which is the act of drilling a hole in the basement, directly into the soil. A fan device is placed in the hole that pulls the air containing trace amounts of radon outdoors. Radon gas that mixes with the open air presents no health risk.
Other methods to rid buildings of radon gas in the air include sealing basement cracks and gaps in the building. Concrete sealants are used by SWAT Environmental specialists to close these gaps and holes so that the gas cannot be released into the home. To completely seal crawl spaces, an extremely thick treated plastic is used to keep the radon gas in place. Another method involves a rapid increase of airflow to be introduced into the home via new pipes and vents.
Other Considerations Regarding High Radon Levels
Radon is most commonly found in the air, but it can also be present in water — especially well water — in Pittston and throughout Pennsylvania. For this reason, you should rely on SWAT Environmental for both detecting and mitigating radon levels, no matter what their source. The risk to your health and that of your family members from continued exposure to high radon levels is simply too great to safely ignore.
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