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What are the Best Methods of Radon Control?

Article Details
  • Written By: Britt Archer
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Radon is a gas that has no color, no odor and no taste. Radon gas is a known carcinogen, and it is considered to be a leading cause of lung cancer. The only way to evaluate whether or not your home has radon is to test for it. Radon exposure is harmful to people of all ages, but may especially cause problems for children due to a high level of respiration. Since radon exposure takes years to show any physical signs, testing for radon within your home might prevent a tragedy.

There are several methods of radon control feasible and suitable for home application. One of the most widely used methods of radon mitigation is sub-slab depressurization. Pipes are placed under the house to aid in the venting of radon. A radon fan is placed to vent the pipes away from the home, keeping the gas from re-entering the house. This method of radon control is usually supplemented with other efforts.

Any exposed earth within the house should be covered. Closing cracks or openings in ground level floors and walls also slows incoming radon. Drain tiles may be positioned around the foundation to suck radon from the soil around the house and vent it elsewhere. Areas of negative pressure, such as chimneys and dryers, can be filled with positive air pressure to stop the entry of radon gas.

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Depending on the laws governing radon control in your geographic area, you may need a license or the help of a licensed contractor to mitigate radon levels. Professional contractors sometimes offer radon services, as do many regional environmental agencies. If your home tests positive for radon, seek the help of a professional as dictated by local law.

Different radon control tests measure with different units, and knowing the conversion equivalents may be helpful. Often, radon measurements are written as pCi/L, or picocuries per liter. The curie is a term referring to the activity of one gram of radium. Pico is a term referring to one unit, multiplied by 10-12. Some locations use the pCi/L radon measurement, while others measure the gas in becquerel per meter cubed, or Bq/m to the third degree. A becquerel is the level of one radioactive disintegration per second. One picocurie per liter equals 37 Bq/m3.

When taking steps toward radon control in your home, you should note that there is no safe radon level. No amount of radon is considered a safe amount of gas. The World Health Organization states that for every 2.7 pCi/L of radon, the risk of lung cancer increases by 16 percent.

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