Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Homeowners are becoming more aware of the importance of indoor air quality and early pollutant detection. Due to the lack of proper ventilation or good air circulation, at times, this can be more of a concern than pollution outdoors. One of the main exposure concerns that is often forgotten is radon.
Why is Radon Exposure so Dangerous
Radon happens to be particularly concerning because the gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless by human senses. Radon is actually radioactive decay and occurs naturally in most ecosystems. It is a result of uranium breakdown in soil, rocks, and water, eventually ending up in the air you breathe. It can also be found in common building materials such as sandstone and certain types of concrete and brick. Outdoors the gas easily dissipates into the open air. Problems occur when gas particles become trapped or blocked. They accumulate in structures such as underground tunnels, mines, and of most concern to the general public, our homes (basements in particular).
According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 1 in 3 homes surveyed in a cross-section of seven states showed screenings over 4 pCi/L, the recommended action level for radon.
How Does Radon Gas Leak into Your Home
The gas rises from the ground up through cracks in a home’s foundation. Since it is a single atom gas, Radon can even penetrate concrete blocks, mortar, wood paneling, insulations, low-density plastics, and most paints. Radon progeny can attach itself to dust and other airborne particles making for an easy delivery system into one’s respiratory system. Once lodged in the lung tissue it has the potential to damage healthy cells.
With greater awareness, there is no need for panic. Rather, homeowners need to be vigilant about what to look for and what the early signs of exposure may be. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to radioactive isotopes can lead to lung cancer. In fact, 21,000 deaths a year are a result of radon-induced lung cancer; it is the second-highest cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking.
Symptoms of Radon Exposure
Symptoms start as a persistent cough, coughing blood, wheezing, shortness of breath and extended periods of hoarseness. Frequent episodes with infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia can be of concern as well. If you have experienced these over weeks and months and live in a high exposure area, you should seek medical attention immediately and have your house screened.
Radon is found in high levels throughout the mountain west region. Specific counties around the Salt Lake City area have shown higher than national average recordings as well including:
- Morgan County: 4.9 pCi/L
- Weber County: 4.9 pCi/L
- Wasatch County: 5.1 pCi/L
Although no level is “safe” or “acceptable,” there is typically only a need for initial testing and proper remediation.
The US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association and National Safety Council all recommend having your home tested for radon.
Green Home Air Quality Knows How to Fix Radon Levels
While home kits can provide a reading for radon levels, an accurate measurement requires a professional assessment. Our technicians get a “full” reading of a property. We will inspect attics, basements, crawl spaces, and storage areas where numbers may alternate. Once properly assessed, we can recommend the appropriate method of remediation such as active soil depressurization (ASD) and installation of ventilation systems.
Don’t take the risk, call for a quote today.
For more information, please contact Green Home Air:
Green Home Air:
3704 Laurelcrest St
Salt Lake City, UT 84109