Thursday, July 26, 2012

Free radon test kits run out: Tennessee

Radon can only be detected
by using a testing kit
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos
The Tennessee department of environment and conservation announced earlier this month it would provide residents with free radon test kits for their homes. The deadline for requests was set for July 30th, but the state has already run out. 

Governments in both the United States and Canada have made huge strides in educating society on the harmful effects of radon: an odorless, colorless gas that can be found in many homes across North America. This cancer-causing, radioactive gas occurs when uranium breaks down in water, rock and soil.

According to US estimates, indoor levels of radon should be no higher than 2pCi/L (picocuries per liter.) If they are, steps should be taken to reduce the levels in your home. Higher levels of radon have been detected in the Mid-West and in the North-Eastern part of the country. To check whether your region has a higher risk of radon poisoning, visit the EPA’s interactive map of the US.

Canada has a different way of measuring radon. It uses Bq/m³ (becquerels per cubic meter) and has deemed that safe levels should be 200 Bq/m³ or less.  Studies have revealed that the provinces with the highest risk for radon are New Brunswick, Manitoba, The Yukon and Saskatchewan. They all recorded concentrations of radon that were at least 16 percent above the 200 Bq/m³ maximum. For more detailed information, check out the Cross-Canada Survey of Radon Concentrations in Homes.

Both governments encourage everyone to test their homes for the presence of radon, regardless of where they live.

What to do?

Radon contains radioactive properties
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos
Before panicking, it is important for you to get more informed by reading the information both governments have provided above.

The next step is to purchase a radon test kit to see what the concentration levels may be in your home. Test kits can be found in many larger supermarkets and cost approximately 20 dollars.

If you have a radon problem, here are some tips to follow:

  •  Sealing: filling up cracks in the foundation of the house is a good way to reduce the amount of radon entering your home from the ground
  • Room pressurization: this is the process of blowing air into the basement either from upstairs or from outdoors; this will help keep the radon from rising into your home
  •  Heat recovery ventilator: this is also called an air-to-air heat exchanger and it is a constant ventilation system of incoming and outgoing air
  • Natural ventilation: this is simply the process of opening windows and doors to allow outdoor air to pass through the home and disperse the radon
NOTE: Simply sealing or naturally ventilating the home is not sufficient for counteracting radon. They must be used in conjunction with room pressurization or heat recovery ventilation to be effective.

Another option

Air purifiers can also help mitigate radon poisoning.  When combined with sealing and natural ventilation, air purifiers can not only help reduce radon levels in your home, but they can also clean other toxins and particles from the air by using HEPA and activated carbon filters.

Do you have any tips on how to deal with radon? Share your advice with us.

For more information on AllerAir’s air purifiers, contact us through our website.

Show your support for a greener and healthier environment by becoming a follower of this blog.

1 comment:

  1. Informed Decisions Property Inspection Services can ensure that the air in your home is safe for you and your family. We know that regular maintenance and repair is the way to ensure that your heating and cooling systems are not contributing to poor air quality in your home.Click HERE for FREE Estimate Toronto Air Quality Testing