Posts Tagged ‘health’
What Minnesota Homeowners Need to Know About Radon
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the air in your Minnesota home may be hazardous to your health due to radon. If your home was built on property with deposits of uranium underground and your structure was not sealed properly, radon may be seeping into your residence. This undetectable gas—the result of uranium decay—is generally harmless when emitted into outdoor air, but when radon is trapped inside your home, it poses a threat to respiratory health. The EPA reports that more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year are attributable to radon, and many more Americans are at risk for damage to their lungs because of the radon levels in their homes.
Minneapolis Minnesota is Invested With Radon
Minnesota, like much of the northern Midwest, has significant underground uranium deposits that are constantly in decay. According to the MDH, a third of Minnesota homes are likely to test positive for significantly high levels of indoor radon. The likelihood that your particular home contains dangerous levels of radon depends on several factors—the geology specific to your property, the structural integrity of your home, depressurization, and maintenance. These factors vary from home to home, so even if every neighbor on your block has tested for radon and been designated risk-free, your home may still have unhealthy levels of indoor radon.
Is Your Minneapolis Minnesota Home Protected From Radon?
Radon can enter your home through brickwork, cracks in concrete, dirt (for example, unsealed basement floors), ill-fitting or loose joints and pipes, and many other architectural and material avenues. The lowest part of the house usually has the highest concentration of radon, but it disperses throughout the home, reacting to the pull of negative pressure. Heating and cooling vents can blow radon-laden air into your home. Fireplaces, wood stoves, and clothes dryers can create a vacuum effect that draws radon indoors. Even the wind blowing past your home can create a downdraft that introduces radon into your residence.
Radon-The Silent Killer
According to the EPA, indoor radon levels of 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) demand immediate action. The Minnesota Department of Health goes even further in encouraging the reduction of indoor radon levels, recommending radon mitigation when an annual average level is higher than 2 pCi/L. The presence of any level of radon in your home carries some health risk, however. Even at 2 pCi/L, radon is estimated to cause lung cancer in 4 out of every 1,000 people.
The only way to find out whether you and your family are at risk is to perform a radon detection test. Radon detection tests can be purchased from most hardware stores or radon reduction companies throughout Minnesota. For more information about which test to choose, how to perform the test, and what your specific results mean, contact your local radon mitigation professionals or consult the Minnesota Department of Health.
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