Taking Action on Radon
January is National Radon Action Month. While radon levels in outdoor air pose a comparatively low threat to human health, it can accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings, which makes January a perfect time to promote radon awareness, as testing is generally easiest and most effective in cooler months when houses tend to be under-ventilated.
What is radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil, and water from the natural decay of uranium.
What makes it dangerous?
Like carbon monoxide, radon is a "silent killer" because it can't be seen, smelled, or tasted. Because it is invisible and difficult to detect, it can be present at a dangerous level in your home. Radon is often released in the home through the basement floor from the soil underneath, which makes it hazardous and unpredictable. As the second-leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States and the leading cause among non-smokers, radon claims more than 20,000 lives annually.
The U.S. EPA has put it simply, stating, "Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. The lower the radon level in your home, the lower your family's risk of lung cancer." The average person receives a greater dose of radiation from the radon levels in their home than from their joint exposure to all other radiation sources, natural or man-made.
What can you do?
The World Health Organization Handbook on Indoor Radon: A Public Health Perspective indicates that radon exposure is a major and increasing public health threat in homes. Testing can be done through professional services or you can buy kits at hardware stores to test yourself. If you do buy your own kit, it should be placed in the lowest lived-in space of your home (usually the basement or the garage) for the most exact results.
You can check whether your home has an elevated radon level by conducting a simple test. If the results of the short-term test (less than 90 days) are at or above 4 pCi/l, a follow-up test should be conducted to be sure.
What do you do if your house does have high levels of radon?
If after checking the radon levels you find that your house does in fact have dangerously high amounts of radon, contact an expert. Experts usually rely on Active Soil Depressurization (ASD), which is the approved method of dispelling radon from your home. ASD includes installing a pipe through the basement floor and having the radon exit through the roof or wall (similar to a chimney). A fan in the basement, attic, or outside then moves the air through the pipe to the outside. These fans are durable and often last around five to 10 years.
Dealing with radon is easy, but it takes some dedication -- go talk to a local expert on how you can make your home and offices safe and spread the word, you can help in saving others from radon-induced lung cancer.
We at Marina Securities Services take our job of protecting you quite seriously. That is why we provide you with information that will help you run your offices and households better.
Sam Tadesse is the President of Marina Securities Services, a premier security company in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Founded in 1997 on the principle that a detail-oriented approach to providing security services will yield a high-quality, reproducible, and scalable business enterprise, Marina Securities not only meets the needs of large-scale client engagements that require large numbers of security personnel, but also meets the needs of smaller clients, such as a warehouse that wants to outsource its night watchman responsibility. He has extensive experience in the parking industry and has been managing director of Pacific Park Management since 1995. Prior to founding Pacific Park, he worked as the general manager of CarPark Corporation, managing more than 30 locations.
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Posted on Jan 06, 2017