Thursday, October 7, 2010

Oct 2010 E-FACT

When you hear the word "Radon." I hope you think of us here a Radon Controls, Inc. We have made it our business to make homes and businesses safe for over 22 years. One interesting property of radon is that it glows when cold. Radon gas is clear and colorless. The liquid is transparent. The element starts to glow yellow, then orange, then red, as cooled into its opaque solid form at -71°C. The glow is 'Cerenkov radiation', which is light produced as charged subatomic particles interact with their immediate environment. Below is a photo of Cerenkov radiation.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Leadership problems concerning radon

It’s been 22 years since Congress passed the Indoor Radon Abatement Act. Everyday in the US, 60 people will die a day as a result of indoor radon induced lung cancer. In a year’s time, that is 22,000 people.

The question is no longer if radon gas is a threat; it’s whether or not our local, county, state and Federal representatives will provide leadership in this area.

In Virginia, only 2 counties have adopted the IRC codes pertaining to radon resistance construction. Virginia has 48 counties in EPA Zone 1.

Think about it, we all think we are the safest while in our homes. For instance, a house having 4 pCi of radon per liter of air has about 8 or 9 atoms of radon decaying every minute in every liter of air inside the house. A 1,000 square foot house with 4 pCi/L of radon has nearly 2 million radon atoms decaying in it every minute. That 4 pCi/l action level doesn't seem to low does now does it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What's in a measurement? 4 pC/iL Rn222

For instance, a house having 4 pCi of radon per liter of air has about 8 or 9 atoms of radon decaying every minute in every liter of air inside the house. A 1,000 square foot house with 4 pCi/L of radon has nearly 2 million radon atoms decaying in it every minute. The photo below shows the "Tracks" made by Alpha Particles. (Radiation)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Radon - The Killer in Tobacco

Out of nearly 4,000 chemicals found in tobacco smoke, only 2 definite chemical carcinogens have been identified in cigarette smoke - benzopyrine and nitrosamine -the most potent carcinogen found in tobacco is radiation from Polonium-210, a radon decay product.
The use of phosphate fertilizers on tobacco has tripled in recent years. Calcium phosphate accumulates uranium which slowly releases radon gas. The breakdown of radon produces radioactive polonium-210 which adheres to the tobacco leaves.
The Surgeon General stated that radioactivity, rather than tar, accounts for at least 90% of all smoking-related lung cancers.
Given this information it appears that radon is the number one cause of lung cancer.

To read more information please see: Dr. Gordon Edwards

Estimating Lung Cancers....

Radioactive Polonium in Tobacco

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where does radon in my water come from?

As water moves through the ground, radon gas can be carried in the water to your tap. When well water is agitated at warm temperatures in the home, radon is released into the air. When you shower, bathe or simply run the tap, the radon in the water is liberated into the air, forming radon gas that can be inhaled in. According to the EPA, radon levels in ground water are highest in New England and the Appalachian uplands of the Mid-Atlantic and Southern States. Certain areas around the Rocky Mountains, California, Texas and the upper Midwest also have elevated levels of radon in the ground water. These areas are most likely to have elevated radon in water levels, but radon in water can occur anywhere in the US.

Fixing the problem...

Simple aeration removes up to 99% of radon from water. Radon is rarely a problem in public systems because the water is aerated during water treatment. Unfortunately, this does not occur in water being drawn from a private well. Aeration treatment equipment aerates the water, then vents the gas to the outside. This treatment option requires that the gas be vented above the roof line, otherwise the gas may enter the home.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Customer Feedback

I have been impressed with the way Radon Controls has addressed my Radon issue.

The first time Radon Controls came out they designed and installed a sub-slab suction system that was very nicely done. Because they noted the air movement beneath my slab was minimal, their design allowed for expansion if needed. And after testing it was determined the system would need to be expanded, so a second sub-slab penetration was also very nicely installed.

However, readings were still high in the basement, so Chris Johnson came out and examined the situation. When he learned there was a closed-in crawl space beneath our front porch and adjacent to the basement, he theorized that the Radon may be entering from that area. Chris took readings in the crawl space and learned the Radon levels were shockingly high. (His readings were substantiated by test kits I had.)

At this point, Chris decided to enhance the existing system to concentrate on two more sup-slab and one in-wall penetration along the wall adjacent to the crawl space. And once again the install was so nicely designed and installed it is only noticeable in one remote area. Chris felt these penetrations would be beneficial and possibly eliminate the need to cover the crawl space. However, as somewhat expected, levels in the basement continued to be high.

Finally, Chris and his team blanketed the crawl space with a polyethylene sheet and sub sheet mitigation system. This system trapped and removed gasses. It drastically dropped the Radon levels in the crawl space and subsequently lowered the levels in the basement to well under the “take action” point.

I believe the difficulty level involved in resolving my Radon issue was well above that of a normal situation. I feel very good about how Radon Controls approached my issue. It took several steps, but each was logically thought out with consideration to which had the best chance of success. It just proved to be a particularly tough situation.

If you have Chris examine your situation, I believe you can be confident he is very knowledgeable in Radon mitigation, studies the situation carefully, goes about testing in a logical and systematic method and will offer solutions that give the greatest chance for success with the least disruption.


Richmond, VA