Thursday, October 26th, 2017 by Melissa Kremer
Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas that naturally occurs when the product radium decays. – National Radon Defense. The Surgeon General states that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and when it is concentrated in a home, breathing in the gas over prolonged periods of time poses significant health risks. Due to the natural movement of air in and out of homes, it is simple for radon to enter constantly. Every home acts as a vacuum and pulls gasses in from under the home’s foundation. Due to radon being found naturally in the soils around our homes, it seeps in through the basement and crawlspace areas through cracks, open sump pits, dirt floors, and any other type of opening that may be present. This also makes these areas of the home with the highest levels and can be detected with self-testing kits or by professionals of the National Radon Defense network.
Radon level are measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) in the United States. At MidAmerica Basement Systems we service the Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa areas to help reduce radon levels in homes, and increase the quality of the health for families. The recommended levels of radon levels, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in a home should be 4.0 pCi/L or lower. In Illinois the average level of radon in homes are 5.3 pCi/L and Iowa is 6.1. Testing for radon in the home is very simple. At home self-test kits can be purchased at hardware stores or through MidAmerica Basement Systems, and are placed in the lowest livable area of the home. The charcoal test kits remain in the room for 48 hours and sent in to the laboratory to detect the results.
To better understand the severity of radon and how it affects our lives, radon levels are compared to smoking even if you yourself have never been a smoker. For every 1 pCi/L level of radon this equals 2.5 cigarettes, and being exposed to high levels over long periods of time, increases the risk of lung cancer. When radon gas goes through the soil and rocks, radon decay products become present. These products then come through the openings of the basements and crawlspaces, during natural air movement, the radon decay products stick and collect on objects, such as dust particles, which are than inhaled when we breathe.
With a radon mitigation system installed by MidAmerica Basement Systems, the Breathe EZ Air Cleaner filtration system affectively strips the air of the radon decay products. Not only does the Breathe EZ Air Cleaner filter the radon decay products, but also absorb odors, chemicals in the air, allergens, smoke, viruses, and dust mites. The system pulls the radon gas through a PVC system, filtering the products to prevent them from sticking and collecting inside the home. In return, your home become safer and healthier to breathe for years to come.