Archive for July, 2012
Dangers of Radon in Water for Kalamazoo, Michigan Residents
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can be created in the soil virtually anywhere. Extended exposure to high levels of radon has been linked to cancer. The most common form of radon exposure is inhaling it from the air; however, it can also mix with a home’s water supply, causing exposure every time you drink, cook with or otherwise use the water. Waterborne radon may cause stomach cancer in some cases when it is swallowed, and it can also release radon into the home’s air, causing further health problems.
Sources of Radon in Water
Virtually every part of the United States has radon present in its soil to some degree; however, the problem is particularly prevalent in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This does not necessarily mean, though, that your home’s water is certain to be contaminated if you live in this area. If your drinking water comes from a surface water source, such as a lake, reservoir or river, most of the radon will be released into the open air before it reaches your faucet. People who get their water from an underground well, however, are at much higher risk of being exposed to waterborne radon.
The water from many wells contains radon, especially bedrock wells. Dug and point wells typically contain lower concentrations of radon than bedrock wells. Radon from groundwater is the second largest contributor to radon in the home, the first being gradual introduction of radon from the soil into the house’s lowest level.
The biggest risk from radon in water is that the water will gradually release the radon it contains into your house’s air as you use it. Inhaling radon in the air poses a much larger health risk than swallowing it in the water. Anytime water containing radon is exposed to air, the radon is released; indoors, this contributes to its accumulation.
Testing and Eliminating Radon in Water
Radon has no odor, color or taste, so it is completely undetectable without specialized testing. If you live in the Kalamazoo area, especially if you get your water from an underground well, you should have both your water and your home as a whole tested for high radon levels. You can have a professional from SWAT Environmental perform these tests for you, or you can purchase and use a consumer version of them yourself. Either way, it is better to test regularly to ensure that you are not exposed to the long-term effects of radon contamination. The longer you are exposed to high radon levels, the more your chances for developing serious health issues increase.
If testing does detect radon in your water supply, you will need to have a specialist from SWAT Environmental install equipment to eliminate the problem. There are two methods for accomplishing this. Point-of-entry treatment, the first option, is generally more effective because it eliminates radon from water before it ever enters the home. Point-of-use treatment, the second option, removes the radon at the tap. Both options may be necessary in some situations to ensure that your radon problem is completely eradicated.
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