Posts Tagged ‘grand rapids’

Friday, July 27, 2012 @ 02:07 PM
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What is the Cause of Radon in Water?

Radon in Water Grand RapidsRadon is a naturally occurring byproduct of the breakdown of uranium. When most people think of radon, they think of an odorless, colorless gas that collects in the basement of a home. However, radon can also be found in well water, including the well water of many homes in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Radon in water is especially prevalent in water that flows through granite, or through sand or gravel that is made from granite.

The Effects of Waterborne Radon

Radon is well known for putting people at risk of lung cancer if it is inhaled as a gas — which can become a serious problem as the radon escapes from water in your home as you shower, bathe and so on. The health effects of radon in water when it is still dissolved are not as commonplace, but this can also lead to certain types of intestinal cancer and other serious health problems.

To find out if there is radon in your home’s drinking water, you will need to have a specialized test performed since your senses alone will not be able to detect it. SWAT Environmental’s radon experts can perform this test for you.

How to Get Rid of Radon in Water

There are two primary ways to get rid of radon in a home’s water supply. First, the water can be aerated, which means it is sprayed or mixed with air; the air is then removed or vented from the pipes (along with the radon) before the water is used. Second, the water can be run through a granular activated carbon filter. The carbon in the filter sucks up the radon and pulls it out of the water. However, when it is time for the filter to be changed, it is best that a professional does it. This is especially important if there are high radon levels where you live, or if the filter has not been changed in a while.

The water will need to be treated where it enters the home, which means that a point of entry filter or aerator will need to be installed. Point of use systems will only work on the faucets where they are installed and the goal, after all, is to rid the entire home of waterborne radon. Whatever system the homeowner uses to clear his or her water supply of radon must be well maintained, or it can lead not only to radon contamination but to contamination by other toxins as well. To make sure that that your home is properly protected from radon contamination, you should have SWAT Environmental’s specialists check your home regularly and install any necessary systems to prevent contamination. Even after the radon in water problem has been dealt with, you should continue to have your home monitored to ensure that no new problems arise.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 @ 09:02 PM
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Should Grand Michigan Residents Undergo Radon Gas Testing?

Michigan Radon GasAre 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.

It’s National Radon Action Month! Is Your Grand Rapids Home Safe From Radon?

National Radon Action Month Grand RapidsChosen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as National Radon Action Month, January is a good time of the year to take advantage of the skills of experienced radon mitigators such as those hired by SWAT, the largest radon gas mitigation company in the country. During the winter, people spend more time indoors, exposing themselves to this deadly gas for longer periods of time. This fact makes January the perfect time to have your Grand Rapids home tested for radon.

The second leading cause of lung cancer in the country, radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is found in many homes throughout the Grand Rapids area. It occurs when uranium breaks down beneath the earth’s surface and snakes its way through the ground and into your home through open holes and cracks in the foundation or walls of the building. Radon is a radioactive gas that can build up in your home, contaminating it and the air you breathe each day.

What Grand Rapids Area Residents Need to Know about Radon

Radon levels over 4.0 pci/L have been designated as unsafe by the EPA. If your home tests above this level, Grand Rapids residents should arrange for radon mitigation procedures as soon as possible. It is estimated that 20,000 people die from lung cancer caused by radon exposure each year.

Since radon levels can vary throughout the year, it is important for Grand Rapids residents to have their homes tested at least once every two years. All types of homes are at risk of radon contamination. It doesn’t matter whether your home is 20 years old or 50 years old. It could still have radon in it. Typically, radon mitigation procedures can be implemented within a single day’s time. However, in some cases, it may take longer.

Take Action and Have Your Grand Rapids Area Home Tested by SWAT During Radon Action Month

The plain and simple truth is that radon is a health hazard. It kills people. Take action today and make your Grand Rapids home a safer one with a cleaner indoor environment by arranging to have it tested for radon. Having a nationwide footprint, SWAT hires more certified technicians than any other company in the country. Their skills as radon mitigators are exceptional. Each technician is trained to implement radon mitigation strategies to successfully eliminate this radioactive contaminant.

If you live in the Grand Rapids area, please arrange to have your home tested for radon now. If it tests high for radon contamination, take the next step by calling SWAT. During the month of January, SWAT offered price discounts in recognition of National Radon Action Month.

Do yourself and your family a favor and make the best New Year’s resolution of all – promise to have your Grand Rapids home tested for this known carcinogenic, and to arrange for radon mitigation procedures if necessary.

Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 09:12 PM
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Commercial Vapor Intrusion for Grand Rapids, Michigan

Vapor Intrusion Grand Rapids MichiganIf you own a commercial building in Grand Rapids, Michigan, then you may be exposing your employees to harmful gases each and every day that they arrive at work. Vapor intrusion is common in many areas of the country, including Grand Rapids, Michigan. Since many of the gases that create vapor intrusion are colorless and some are odorless, it is difficult to know that it has occurred unless you have your building tested.

Vapor intrusion occurs when contamination found in the ground water or soil beneath your commercial building creeps up through cracks and crevices until it finds a way into the interior of your structure. A number of volatile chemicals can be present in this type of contamination. Typically, the toxic gases that make up the vapors enter the building through cracks or holes in its foundation or through entry points for the utilities.

As the level of vapor intrusion increases, so does the health risk to those individuals who are exposed to it. In many cases, the gases simply build up within the building because they cannot find a way to get out. If your building does not have an adequate ventilation system, the toxicity level increases. Atmospheric conditions have also been shown to influence the incidence of vapor intrusion.

What Contaminants Are Found in Vapor Intrusion in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Vapor intrusion can include one or more of any of the following contaminants:
volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
trichloroethylene (TCE)
radon gas
tetrachloroethylene (dry cleaning fluid)
perchloroethylene (PCE or PERC)
methane
natural gas
a variety of other solvents and gases

While some of the contaminants are found naturally beneath the earth’s surface, a number of them have been disposed of improperly, leading to the contamination. Unfortunately, as the gases buildup beneath the earth’s surface, they continue to search for a way to escape, often arriving inside a building that is actively in use.

A qualified radon mitigation and vapor intrusion specialist can assess the nature of your building’s vapor intrusion using specialized equipment. Typically, the best option to implement when dealing with vapor intrusion is the active soil depressurization method. This strategy is commonly used by radon mitigation specialists to eliminate the presence of radon gas as well as by vapor intrusion specialists to eliminate the presence of one or more of the common pollutants that occur with this situation. The active soil depressurization method creates a balance between the pressure within the building and the pressure found beneath it in the ground. This stabilization of pressure helps to eliminate the vacuum that draws the toxic gases into the building.

If your building tests positive for radon gas only, contact a vapor and radon mitigation specialist and arrange for the necessary strategy to eliminate this dangerous contaminant from your building.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 @ 07:10 PM
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Grand Rapids, Michigan and Radon

Radon Grand Rapids Michigan TestRadon—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.