Archive for October, 2011
Grand Rapids, Michigan and Radon
Radon—an invisible, tasteless, and odorless gas—is a potential threat to your Grand Rapids home. This carcinogenic gas can appear anywhere uranium occurs under the ground. As uranium decays, it emits radon, which ordinarily becomes diluted in the air outdoors. Once trapped under a building, radon can become concentrated to dangerous levels and seep inside your residence. The only known threat to human health is damage to lung tissues, but this threat is a serious one. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that some 20,000 people die each year from lung cancer caused by breathing in radon-polluted air.
Radon is a Silent Killer in Grand Rapids Michigan
Measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), radon can only be detected by testing the air in your home. A level above 4 pCi/L is deemed dangerous enough by the EPA to require immediate action. Even levels between 2 pCi/L and 4pCi/L are cause for concern, since there are no scientifically proven minimum safety levels of indoor radon.
If you look at a radon map of your particular Grand Rapids, Michigan area, you may consider your risks relatively low and decide not to pursue the matter. But radon maps can be misleading, according to the EPA, since the penetration of radon depends on so many different factors, such as the geological composition of your land and the style and quality of your residence’s construction. Even if your next-door neighbor has tested his home and found no or low levels of radon, your property may have high levels. The only sure way to determine your level is to test your specific indoor air.
Test Your Home For Radon Today
Testing is simple and inexpensive. Purchase a radon detection kit from a hardware store or radon mitigation company. Consult the instructions and leave the testing kit in the specified area of your house, apartment, or office building for the designated number of days. When the test period is up, simply mail the test to a radon detection laboratory or return it to your local Grand Rapids radon mitigation company. The results of your test will lead you to the next step in insuring the safety of the air in your home—either breathing a sigh of relief that your residence is safe from radon or arranging for radon mitigation.
Radon mitigation—repairing or modifying a home to prevent the seepage of radon—is the only way to safeguard your premises against this potentially dangerous gas. Removing the threat of radon can involve anything from sealing a few cracks to adding a radon-proof substructure to your home, depending on the level of radon present and the design and construction of your residential or commercial building. General estimates of radon mitigation are between $500 and $2,500, but the final cost will be determined by the amount and difficulty of the work involved.
As in most of the northern United States, the likelihood that a home in Grand Rapids, Michigan will test positive for unhealthy levels of radon is high. Protecting your home from this potentially dangerous by-product of uranium decay is well worth the low cost and ease of radon testing your indoor air.
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