Posts Tagged ‘kalamazoo’
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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Is Your Kalamazoo Home Safe From Radon? It’s Radon Action Month
The Environmental Protection Agency has recently declared January to be National Radon Action Month, and that gives Kalamazoo area homeowners the perfect chance to have their properties tested for this dangerous radioactive gas. If you have not yet had your own Kalamazoo area home tested, why not make January your own radon awareness month?
Many Kalamazoo area residents already know that radon is a danger, and they may even suspect that this colorless and odorless gas is present in their homes. But many Kalamazoo residents are unsure how to proceed, and even unsure whether or not testing would be worthwhile. The reality is that testing is more than worthwhile, and radon problems in the Kalamazoo can be dealt with effectively given the right tools, equipment and expertise.
That is one of the reasons the Environmental Protection Agency has declared January to be National Radon Action Month. The government agency hopes to spur homeowners, both those living in the Kalamazoo area and those around the country, into action. And since radon is a leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States, having homeowners test their houses and fix the problems they find can literally save lives.
Radon Kills About 100,000
According to the World Health Organization, radon exposure is responsible for some 100,000 deaths from lung cancer, and some 20,000 in the United States alone. There is no reason to believe that Kalamazoo area residents are immune from the danger, so it is important for those residents to have their homes tested as soon as possible. Radon levels can build up slowly over time, until the concentration in the indoor air reaches toxic levels. Once that happens, every day you delay could put your family at greater and greater risk. If you even suspect that you have a radon problem in your Kalamazoo area home, you owe it to yourself and your family to have the property tested.
Radon Action Month is the Best Time to Test Your Kalamazoo Home For Radon
National Radon Awareness Month is a great time to finally have testing done on your Kalamazoo area home. If the tests find that there is no radon contamination in your Kalamazoo area home, will have the peace of mind you need. If the tests do find high concentrations of radon gas, you will have the information you need to get the problem fixed by an experienced radon mitigator.
SWAT is the largest radon mitigator in the country, and as such they have access to a wide network of certified technicians in the Kalamazoo area. During the month of January, SWAT will be celebrating National Radon Action Month by offering Kalamazoo area homeowners a number of special discounts and promotions, all designed to help them deal with their radon problems. If you have not yet had your Kalamazoo area home tested for radon, now is the time to act. Taking advantage of National Radon Action Month can save you money and safeguard the health and well being of your family.
Protect Your Kalamazoo Michigan Business From Vapor Intrusion
When you do business, either in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area or elsewhere in the country, you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Between worries about making payroll, concerns about hiring the right people and endless regulations, you have no shortage of things on your plate and issues to be concerned about.
Even so, you simply cannot afford to ignore one problem you may not have previously thought about. If you have a business in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area, you need to be concerned about the problems posed by vapor intrusion. It does not matter if your business is an office or a factory, a warehouse or a storage facility. If you have a business in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area your firm could be at risk from vapor intrusion and you may never even know it.
The problem of vapor intrusion is similar to the radon problems many homeowners have already experienced. Like radon, vapor intrusion is colorless and odorless, and it can seep into indoor living spaces through even the smallest of spaces. But unlike radon, which is primarily a residential problem, vapor intrusion is a big issue for owners of commercial buildings.
Vapor intrusion is also different in that it incorporates more than a single gas. Vapor intrusion can be caused by a number of different gasses and contaminants, including volatile organic compounds and petroleum distillates present in the groundwater and surrounding soil.
Vapor Intrusion May Enter Your Kalamazoo Home or Business in Many Ways
Those contaminants can get into the soil and the water table around your Kalamazoo, Michigan area business in a number of different ways. In some cases there may have been illegal dumping around the Kalamazoo, Michigan area business site. It other cases, the soil under the Kalamazoo, Michigan area business may previously have been home to another business that left contamination in its wake. But no matter what the reason for the contamination, the vapor intrusion it creates can be a real threat to your Kalamazoo, Michigan area firm.
Keep in mind that as a Kalamazoo, Michigan area business owner you are responsible for the health and well being of those who work for you. If you know about a vapor intrusion problem in your Kalamazoo, Michigan factory or office building and fail to act, you could be held civilly, or even criminally, liable for any damages and health problems that may result.
You could be at risk even if you did not know that your Kalamazoo, Michigan area business had a vapor intrusion problem at the time the damage took place. Since the Kalamazoo, Michigan is known to be at risk from vapor intrusion, others could say that you should have known that your firm and your workers were at risk.
You can avoid these potential problems by having your Kalamazoo, Michigan area home tested for vapor intrusion as soon as you can. Hiring a professional contractor with experience and expertise in finding vapor intrusion problems and correcting them is the best way to ensure that you and your workers are protected. If you have not already done so, now is the perfect time to have your Kalamazoo, Michigan area business tested for the dangers posed by vapor intrusion.
Radon Mitigation Kalamazoo Michigan
Residents of Kalamazoo, Michigan often assume that they are not at risk for radon contamination, and that only those who live in the northeast need to worry about this colorless and odorless radioactive gas. Unfortunately for residents of Kalamazoo, Michigan, that is not the case. No matter where you live, you could be at risk of radon contamination, and if you find high levels you need to hire a radon mitigation specialist without delay. If you have your Kalamazoo, Michigan tested for radon and find a problem, hiring a radon mitigation contractor is the best way, and likely the only way, to solve the problem for the long term.
Choose an Experienced Radon Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan
While some general contractors may claim to do radon mitigation, those companies may lack the expertise and experience needed to do the job right. And worse yet, having a general contractor do radon mitigation could actually make the problem worse by bringing yet more radon into your home.
Fortunately, there is a way to get your Kalamazoo, Michigan home freed from the dangers of radon contamination. Hiring a qualified radon mitigation contractor who is properly trained and licensed to operate in the Kalamazoo, Michigan area will allow you and your family to rest easy, knowing that they are protected from this dangerous radioactive gas.
The Importance of a Knowledgeable Radon Company
Of course not all radon mitigation companies are the same, and it is up to you to interview each potential company and find the right one for your needs. Any quality radon mitigation company should be able to help you determine where that radon is getting into your home. That radon mitigation company should also be able to explain to you in layman’s terms how they plan to fix your Kalamazoo, Michigan home and make sure the radon problem does not recur. For instance, if the radon mitigation company finds that radon is entering your Kalamazoo, Michigan home through the foundation, they may explain to you how they will use a specially designed pressure stabilization system to stop that radon in its tacks. If the problem is with the groundwater around your Kalamazoo, Michigan home, the radon mitigation company will be able to explain how they plan to solve that problem as well. No matter what the source of the contamination, it is important to choose a radon mitigation contractor you are comfortable with.
The Risks of Radon for Kalamazoo Homeowners
Radon—a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas emitted by decaying uranium under the ground—poses a significant health hazard to American families. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Surgeon General of the United States, and Kalamazoo County’s Environmental Health Department, radon is responsible for more than 20,000 deaths a year from lung cancer. The damage this radioactive gas does to delicate lung tissues is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second cause of lung cancer among smokers. Although the risks of radon are relatively the same for children and adults, anyone living in a house with a smoker is at substantially higher risk than those living in a non-smoking household.
EPA Radon Map Points to Kalamazoo Homes
Is radon posing a health threat to your Kalamazoo home? The EPA radon map displays three levels of estimated radon threat: Zone 1, Zone 2, and Zone 3. Most of Michigan is shown as vulnerable to indoor radon infiltration, and Kalamazoo County is considered a Zone 1 area. This means that the likelihood is high that your home may test positive for radon of over 4 picocuries per liter (the measure for radioactivity), the level at which the EPA urges homeowners to take immediate action.
Testing for radon is the only sure way to determine whether your residence is at risk. The presence of uranium in the rock and soil under your home is not the only reason radon may be found in your home. The way your house is constructed, how well your residence is maintained, and the depressurization of the building also play a role in how much radon gets into your house. Radon can infiltrate rock and soil, as well as cracks in concrete, floor and wall joists, brickwork, and openings around drains and other plumbing. Because there are so many factors involved, don’t rely on a neighbor’s test results to assess your risk for indoor radon pollution—have your home tested as well.
Test kits for radon detection can be purchased at your local Kalamazoo home improvement center, hardware store, or supermarket. A careful read of the instructions will tell you where to place the kit, what period of time to leave it there, and which laboratory to mail it to once the test is completed. If you prefer hiring a professional, contact your local certified radon mitigation specialist. These trained professionals can perform either short-term or long-term tests to assess your annual average radon level.
Depending on your home’s particular test results, radon mitigation service personnel can consult with you about the different options for radon reduction or removal to make your home a safer place to live. The remedy may turn out to be as simple as sealing a few cracks in your basement floor or venting a dirt floor crawl space. Another method of radon reduction is the installation of pipes leading from under your home to above your roofline to vent radon gas to the outdoors where it becomes diluted and harmless.