Archive for July, 2012
The Radon Problem in Minneapolis, Minnesota Water Supplies
Several states within the United States tend to contain higher than average concentrations of dangerous radon gas. Minnesota is one of these states; the city of Minneapolis, in particular, has been found to often contain excessively high levels of this invisible and odorless radioactive gas. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, taking thousands of lives each year. For this reason alone, dealing with waterborne radon should be a high priority for residents within Minneapolis and all of the surrounding areas.
What is Waterborne Radon and How Dangerous is It?
Radon is a highly radioactive gas that is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It is also very simple in structure, containing only one atom. It is six times heavier than oxygen and, because of its molecular structure, can penetrate and absorb into matter very easily. These chemical traits are the reason that radon can contaminate water supplies with ease.
Because of radon’s radioactivity, the high concentrations typically found in Minneapolis, Minnesota homes put its citizens at a high risk for health problems as a side effect of this exposure if it is not handled properly. For example, it has been well known for some time now that exposure to radon can cause lung cancer and other serious health problems. In fact, lung cancer due to radon kills more people in the Minneapolis area each year than DUI-related accidents.
The risk of radon causing health problems in children is even higher than it is in adults. Because a child’s cellular replication occurs more rapidly than an adult’s, radon can absorb into and damage cells more quickly and easily. In many cases, no matter what the age of the victim, cancer and other health problems caused by radon contamination show up years after the initial exposure.
Where Does Radon in Water Come From?
Although radon can be extracted from some substances through a chemical process, it is found frequently in nature. Radon is actually a product of natural uranium breakdown in the soil; this means that regions with larger amounts of uranium (like Minneapolis) are more susceptible to waterborne radon contamination. Since uranium is typically found deep underground, radon can easily enter the groundwater of these types of areas, allowing it to eventually enter houses
The only way to ensure that you and your family are not exposed to long-term radon water contamination is to test for it and reduce it when necessary. SWAT Environmental’s technicians are masters in the art of dealing with radon contamination in the Minneapolis area. They can handle testing to determine whether your water contains too much radon, as well as abatement to reduce it to safe levels.
The EPA and other government health organizations are well aware of the radon problem in Minnesota and across the United States. Of course, radon in water can be very difficult to completely eliminate. This means that regular monitoring and reduction at the residential level may be the only way Minneapolis families can ensure they are safe from dangerous radon contamination.
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