Radon Gas and How to Detect it
Public awareness of the harmful gas called radon is growing and many people know of its existence even though many don’t know how to detect it. Radon itself is a natural radioactive gas which is prevalent in some parts of the country but not in others. It’s not that easy to detect since people cannot smell or taste it and so their home may have it without them knowing.
Radon is the result of radioactive decay that occurs from small amounts of uranium which occurs naturally in soils and rocks. The gas itself is odorless and colorless. Because it is radioactive it is this exposure which can cause a risk to health. While the gas is present in the air outside it does not cause much of a public health issue because it is in low volumes but it can build-up inside buildings where it will cause problems to the occupants, namely lung cancer.
There are specialists who will carry out tests and estimate whether a house has any radon or they will be able to estimate the probability of it occurring. There are differing levels for which action will need to be taken but the most important thing is to find a detector suitable to carry out the task. There are maps available which show the areas which have a prevalence of radon but householders should be aware that even if their property is in one of the high risk areas it does not mean that their property will see high levels of radon building-up. And for those who live in areas where radon is not an issue should also be aware that radon itself can be found everywhere since it comes from rocks and soils.
People worried about the potential of being exposed to radon and radiation should also note that everyone is exposed to radiation to some degree from man-made and natural sources every day.
Check your home, school or workplace for radon
High radon levels mean there are higher exposures to the gas which brings the potential of suffering with ill-health. For this purpose householders, school authorities or employers could use a radon detector which are simple and safe to use. Most of them can sit on a shelf in a room to record the levels of radon, the detectors themselves do not emit anything or collect any dangerous gases. It should also be noted that if anyone decides to use a radon detector, then they will have to move it from room to room in a property since the amount of radon varies over time and the test will need to be carried out for three months to check every area in levels of the gas.
Radon detectors should be used in the most popular rooms first, such as the bedroom and living areas, since these are where people spend most of their time and therefore this is where their potential for exposure is at its greatest. The results from a radon detector can be returned in less month and they will also give a potential reading for an annual radon exposure level in the property and whether it is below or above the level needed for action.
Solutions to high radon gas levels
There are lots of firms and agencies offering to supply radon detectors, such as Public Health England in the UK, and experienced firms such as Properteco will help resolve any problems if high levels of radon gas are detected in a property. A good solution is a radon sump from Properteco – for those places where there are high levels of radon detected and people are worried about the potential health implications.
The sump is placed into a void beneath the building and the radon in the soil is drawn into it and it can be safely vented away using an exhaust pipe and a fan. The gas is discharged well away from doors and windows.
Many builders are now including radon sumps when a home is built in areas where high radon levels are identified.
The bottom line is that the detection of radon on a property is pretty straightforward and finding a solution can save a life.