Archive for July, 2012
Radon in Water in Pittston, Pennsylvania: How to Deal with the Threat?
Every living organism needs clean water to sustain life. That is why the consequences are so serious when a water supply becomes polluted with dangerous toxins or poisons. One common water contaminant that can be found in both private and public water supplies across the United States — and especially in the Pittston area — is radon.
Radon is a tasteless, unscented, and colorless water-soluble radioactive noble gas that generates naturally during the decay of uranium. Typically, it is found in igneous rocks, soil and water. Since it has radioactive properties, radon is deemed to be a threat to human health. More concerning is the fact that it cannot be easily detected without the use of proper testing equipment. This means that radon could be present in your home’s water supply without you ever realizing it.
The Health Hazard of Radon in Water
Health researches show that radon in water causes the buildup of the gas in buildings and residential houses. The radon-rich water can be ingested by the people living in the contaminated home, or the radon particles can escape from the water and be inhaled. Once they get inside the human body, the radioactive particles cause damage to the cells that protect the lungs and eventually can result in lung cancer. Usually, it takes a few years for the symptoms to start showing up and alert the individual of the possibility of radon existence in the house. Initial symptoms of radon exposure can include bronchitis, pneumonia, infections, heavy breathing, wheezing and coughing.
Waterborne Radon in Pittston, PA
Recently, there has been a progressive increase in public awareness about radon in water and its possible effects on human health. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now considers radon to be the second most common cause nationwide of lung cancer, next to cigarette smoking. The EPA estimates that one out of five homes across the country are contaminated with some level of radon in water. Some parts of the United States, though, are at a higher risk than others. Unfortunately, the levels of waterborne radon in Pittston, Pennsylvania reportedly are among the highest anywhere.
How to Deal with High Levels of Radon in Water?
The first step in dealing with radon in water is to have your house tested to determine exactly how much radon it contains. The experienced and reputable experts from SWAT Environmental have the experience and equipment necessary to complete this process for you. If your house is found to be contaminated with radon, these experts can install any necessary equipment to remove it for you. It is also a good idea to ask about the levels of radon in water before buying or renting a house or office building in Pittston, Pennsylvania to ensure that you, your family and your employees are not being put at needless risk.
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The High Cost of Radon as an Unwanted Basement Tenant in Pittston
While there are emotional and financial costs associated with relatives moving into a family’s basement, those costs pale in comparison to the havoc that can be associated with having radon as a tenant. According to United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon gas causes an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year, second only to cigarette smoking. Radon, an invisible, naturally occurring radioactive gas, is formed from the decay of uranium in the soil. The gas then percolates upwards into a home through cracks and holes in its foundation and ends up trapped in its basement, gradually infecting the rest of the house.
The Importance of Radon Abatement in Pittston
Radon may be more prevalent in Pittston because of the fact that Pittston is well known for coal mining. In a study conducted by the Environmental Radon Group which appeared in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, researchers showed that radon and its daughter compounds were responsible for cancer in mine workers. Mining frees radon which then affects the miners. Knowing how people are exposed is important in minimizing exposure. Radon exists either as a gas or as particles, which means that people either inhale or swallow radon. Exposure to radon increases the risk of multiple serious health conditions, although lung cancer is the most common. This is one of the many reasons radon abatement is necessary. The risk is higher when a person is exposed simultaneously to other lung cancer-causing compounds. It is therefore important to minimize simultaneous exposure to cigarette smoke, radon from the mines, and basement radon to help minimize an individual’s risk to developing lung cancer. As Pittston undergoes revitalization, older buildings are being demolished and newer structures are taking their place; it is important to ensure that these new building are designed with radon abatement in mind.
Does your Home Need Radon Abatement?
Since radon is invisible and has no scent, it is difficult to determine if your home has been contaminated. You can purchase various “do it yourself” radon test kits from most hardware stores and home supply stores. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends performing a short-term test first and then following it up with either another short-term test or a long-term test to confirm the results. To avoid the possibility of errors or inaccuracies, many people choose to have an expert from SWAT Environmental perform a professional version of the test for them.
Radon Abatement Strategies
Once radon is detected in a home, there are a variety of strategies SWAT Environmental’s technicians can use to decrease its levels. These strategies usually include some type of unique ventilation system to remove the gas. Additionally, the specialists will usually seal all foundation cracks and openings to ensure that the radon stays out.
Radon abatement and the accompanying reduction it brings to cancer risk are vital if you live in a radon-contaminated house. Especially if your home is located in a radon-prone area like Pittston, you must stay constantly vigilant about the potential for radon contamination.