DANGER: RADON

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unlike some of the folks here, who are forgetting a very important point, let me remind you of something:
many places in the USA have high RADON levels (RADON, a colorless, odorless gas, is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking)
many of the solutions that are typically presented in this group involve exhausting attic heat via a fan, turbine, etc.
most of these are "negative pressure" solutions, i.e. they suck air out in order to exhaust the unwanted heat
this will cause RADON to be sucked IN to your home from the ground
I suggest the following two ideas which are at least as effective and will not introduce any RADON:
suggestions for hot attics:
1. a positive pressure solution (i.e. fan blows into attic and out a vent, rather than sucking air out and RADON in)
2. even better is a white roof, studies have shown that a white colored roof is 7 times as efficient for eliminating attic heat than any vent, fan, or turbine system
YFH
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Agree with that. Attic venting shold be independent of the house unless you are taling a whole house fan. OTOH, I'm not convinced radon is the threat some make it out to be.

Makes a lot of sense in hot climates, but in the winter, it is not a savings here.
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See here http://www.hpa.org.uk/radiation/radon/index.htm
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They state: What Are the Effects of Radon?
Miners exposed to high radon levels have been found to run an increased risk of lung cancer. Radon in the home also presents a risk, but generally at a lower level.
Thus my earlier comment. I think it may be overblown in the home.
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On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 03:04:24 GMT, in alt.home.repair RE: Re: DANGER:

These studies were done in the 1950s and 1960s. Most (if not all) of the miners where also heavy smokers. So many were smokers, that they couldn't get a significant sample if they excluded smokers, so they had to keep them in the sample. They compared the lung cancer rate of the miners/smokers to the lung cancer rate of smokers-only. (They did not consider the amount of smoking. I've never seen stats, but my observations of miners as a group is that they are far heavier smokers than the populaton at large.) The difference was very small, and many researchers judged it to be statistically insignificant and the studies non-conclusive.
That was judged to be an unacceptable and imprudent conclusion by Health Physics community at the time, so a second committee was chosen to review the results and *they* concluded that the differences while indeed small, "might" be significant. That became the official party line in the Health Physics community whose job and livelihood was managing radiation risk. It just wouldn't do to find some natural background radiation levels to be "safe" and without risk.
That has been the party line ever since but was pretty much ignored and forgotten since the conclusions were so contrary human experience, observation and common sense. Then in the 1990s when our culture was running out of hysteria-of-the-month scares (global warming, nuclear winter, no more water, etc.) this old bogeyman was resurrected.
It's perfect: you can't see it, can't feel it, can't smell it, can't sense it, and can't find a single person that was effected by it. You can only say that of 100,000 people exposed to it, *according to our models and predictions* x-people surely must have been effected. What the HP community does not say is that the predictive models were designed *with the assumption* that there was an effect.
Well, a close relative of mine owns a radon testing service, so I hope that in the future they require radon testing & mitigation as a requirement of all home sales. If you can't get people to use common sense, you might as well accommodate and profit from their fears :-)
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On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 07:18:14 -0500, Vic Dura

Where have you been? They didn't stop studying radon in the 60s. If studies are non-conclusive, it means they (or the analyses) are "non-conclusive," not that it's the end of the story. "Statistically insignificant" can have as much to do with the design of a study as with biological reality.
Do a simple literature search and take note of studies as recent as this year; you're going to be surprized that the conclusions have changed. The issue is not resolved by any means, particularly with dosage, length of exposure (eg. lifetime risk of exposed children vs. risk of adults exposed later in life), and degree of risk. But the fact that it's a difficult issue to study doesn't mean that there is no danger.
Sue(tm) Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
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wrote:

Ever notice how many people roll their eyes in disgust when you ask them if they took a class in statistics or research methods in college? This explains a lot of trends in society, including the reason opinion polls carry so much weight with the simpleminded, and why scientific research often falls on deaf ears.
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Yeung Fun Ho wrote:

True, but many places have no problem with radon. Besides, the solution is generally simple and inexpensive. (Of course there are "fixers" who will insist that very expensive solutions are necessary). Before anyone gets excited, check with local health or other organizations for radon in the local soils.

Almost any attic ventilation solution requires air inlets and outlets. A fan that blows out requires air inlets, either openings in the end gables or openings in the soffits. As a result, very little negative pressure will be developed. In any case, negative pressure in the attic won't have any effect on Radon in the house unless the attic is tied to the rest of the house, the basement, or the crawlspace and that isn't the case in most houses (it may be the case with a whole house fan). For radon to be a problem, radon has to infiltrate the house from the soil. That may occur from a basement or crawl space, but not from an attic.
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George, I generally agree with you. However, I hear from some some researchers that is is often the case that there are connecting paths up through the house structure.
YFH might want to look at the Building Science Corporation web site.
TB
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

True, with balloon framing used in old houses. I would worry more about fires than Radon with such construction.
Not true with modern house construction.
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wrote:

Holes for water vent, gas furnace and water heater chimneys go from basement to roof.
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In alt.hvac on Sat, 16 Jul 2005 11:14:42 -0500 "Mike Dobony"

Yeah, in another thread I mentioned my forced air heating duct which goes up my stack to the second. The oil furnace chimney is either in the stack too or right next to it.
At the level of the first-floor ceiling or second floor floor, there is a piece of plywood covering the stack, with holes for whatever goes up there. I don't recall how well fitted the holes were to the duct etc. Do all houses have the stack closed like this?
When I wanted to run another electric line, and phone lines and burglar alarm lines, even with my 6 foot drill bit and a 12 inch extension, it was hard to drill the hole.
Still, I don't think attic ventilation draws from the basement when their are easier places to draw from, and even if there is radon in the area, that doesn't mean it gets into the basement. There has to be a crack in the foundation and in the right place.
Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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Radon - The biggest scam of the 20th century. They say "you can't see it, but it will kill you". The reason you cant see it, is because there is no such thing as radon, except in the minds of scammers that want your money to do alot of useless crap to your house at their gain. However, if you believe in radon, then you must also believe in the tooth fairy. Well, I personally know the tooth fairy, and if you send me $1000, I will send you her autographed photo, and if you include one of your gold capped teeth along with your $1000 check, she will also send you a silver dollar with a picture of a naked face on it.
On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 16:27:51 -0400, "Yeung Fun Ho"

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2nd biggest scam. #1 scan? FREON!!!!!! There has never been a SCIENTIFIC study tying freon to ozone depletion. There has never been any scientific study that conclusively shows ANY ozone depletion. The newspapers have CLAIMED a connection, but never gave any scientific studies which proved or even indicated it. What they showed was guesses that it MIGHT deplete the ozone.
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Mike Dobony wrote:

    Wrong, Freon breath. You need to read something published in the past decade, or get out of the house more often. You probably still believe the whole thing was fabricated by DuPont because of their R-12 patent (which, incidentally, ran out more than 50 years ago.)
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Vicki Szaszvari wrote
Wrong, Freon breath. You need to read something published in the past decade, or get out of the house more often. You probably still believe the whole thing was fabricated by DuPont because of their R-12 patent (which, incidentally, ran out more than 50 years ago.)
========================= Poor logic.
The important questions are: 1) Who holds the patent on R134a? (hint - DuPont) 2) Who holds the patent on R12? (hint - Not DuPont) 3) Who holds the patents on propane, isobutane and other organic refrigerants? (hint - Not DuPont)
Think a bit about those answers and you'll possibly understand DuPont's motivations in guiding the feds and the global community in banning inexpensive and very effective refrigerants that DuPont can't monopolize. DuPont wasn't particularly concerned about any global health issues back around 1928 when it had all of us by the short & curlies with its patent on R-12. DuPont has never been concerned about anything except DuPont's P&L statement.
Of course the marginally sentient will claim that our leaders in Washington aren't dumb enough to not recognize a corporation acting out of self-interest. But those with an ounce of brains will realize that Congress will follow any whore who will give them billions of dollars of hidden taxation for them to control. The R-12 taxation is a lot easier than going to the mats and asking for an income tax increase. American taxpayers will let you rape them without much of a fight as long as it is a hidden tax. And the HVAC industry has few complaints since the new government regs create a de facto super guild environment which attempts to exclude consumers and "hacks" from practicing the trade.
DuPont is happy. Congress is happy. Techs are happy.
The public gets fucked.
If you believe that DuPont is altruistic, then you'd probably believe a Microsoft press release claiming that Apple computers cause brain cancer. Ok, bad example - they do cause brain rot. :)
Gideon
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On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 10:58:46 GMT, in alt.home.repair RE: Re: DANGER:

Well said.
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You aren't a tech or a company owner obviously. The tree huggers got us into this mess. But you would rather believe it's some conspiracy theory. You should maybe get your brain rot treated.
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Just to simplify this a bit, are you saying you do NOT think corporations have purchased legislation which benefits only themselves?
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Who holds the patent on R-410a (Hint-Not DuPont!) So what?
Stretch
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