Archive for February, 2012
Should Grand Michigan Residents Undergo Radon Gas Testing?
Are you aware that many areas of the United States have a greater risk of radon gas contamination within their homes? Unfortunately, this places Grand Rapids, Michigan residents at a greater risk of developing lung cancer as well. Radon gas is radioactive and it causes non-small cell lung cancer, a treatable but often deadly form of the disease. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 20,000 individuals are expected to die from radon-induced cancers this year alone.
What Residents Should Know About Radon Gas in Michigan
Okay, so you just discovered that radon gas is radioactive and it causes lung cancer. That sounds ominous. What else should you know about it? Where does it come from and how do you know your home is contaminated by this radioactive carcinogen?
Radon is an invisible gas without an odor or taste. The only strategy you have for discovering whether or not it is present in your home is to undergo some form of radon gas testing. Radon sneaks into your home through holes or cracks in your foundation, basement walls, and openings near the entry points for your utilities. It comes from beneath the earth’s surface where it is formed as uranium breaks down. Snaking its way through the ground, radon can sometimes escape into the earth’s atmosphere, unless a building is located directly above its exit point.
Radon Testing Michigan
The EPA highly recommends that Grand Rapids, Michigan residents have their homes tested at least once, but preferably twice, a year for this dangerous carcinogen. Differing weather and atmospheric conditions can cause the radon levels in your Grand Rapids home to fluctuate greatly from season to season. One way to undergo testing is to purchase a radon gas detector and use it to determine just how high your levels of radon contamination are. You can also arrange to have a professional come in and test your Grand Rapids, Michigan home over several months to get a more accurate reading.
The EPA has determined that radon levels over 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) are extremely dangerous. They recommend that any home in the United States that tests at this level or higher undergo radon gas mitigation strategies to eliminate it.
Radon Gas Detectors and Radon Levels in Michigan
A number of different styles of radon gas detectors are currently available to assist homeowners in determining the existing level of this radioactive gas within their homes. The simplest type of device is the passive radon gas detector. It does not use any source of power to operate. It is available in three basic styles including charcoal liquid scintillation device, alpha-track detector, and charcoal canister. This type of radon gas detector is readily available. Once you utilize this device, you need to return it so the levels can be calculated. Passive radon gas detectors are also available for homeowners who prefer to have their homes tested for the presence of this carcinogen over several months.
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