We have a Radon problem. A house up the street has 90 picoCuries (owners
emit a slight blue glow at night 'g'). The next in line has 40, the next is
12 and then there is ours, not yet tested.
I have been trying to get info off the 'Net regarding Radon exposures. So
far the best I have obtained refers to a lifetime of exposure (whatever that
means). For example, a lifetime exposure of 10 indicates that 18 people out
of a thousand "could" come down with lung cancer. This is twenty times the
probability that we could die in a house fire.
As indicated this is all based on a lifetime's exposure. What I need to know
is the risk of exposure of a much shorter time, say, two years.
Does anyone know of a data source(s) where I can search for the info I want?
Also is there another NG I should consult?
There is very little information as to the actual effects of radon on
the human body. In fact there are many claims of therapeutic benefits
for respiratory and arthritic ailments. People flock to so called
Radon caves. These underground caves have many times the considered
Acute (short term) exposures typically are not the problem, whereas the
low dose 7 days a week, 365 days a year is what can lead to accumulated
On that basis, one could project something on the order of 4 pCi(/l)...
Peculiar that there's such a gradient--must be some underlying reason
for that assuming the houses in a subdivision are roughly same vintage
There's a link from the EPA site
that has a secondary link to a revised study that is supposed to have a
risk model to calculate a numerical estimate of the risk per unit
exposure [lung cancer deaths per working level month (WLM)].
I'd note the use of "calculate" above...the uncertainty range on that
same page for the estimated number of annual mortalities from Ra-related
lung cancers varies from a minimum of roughly 40% to a maximum of 200%
-- enough to indicate the data are simply not more than ballpark
That there's some additional risk is reasonably clear, but to think it's
possible to get an actual value that's more than that is just wishful
In other words, from my viewpoint, get the test, if it's <really> high
consider some abatement perhaps, but it is highly unlikely it will be a
serious health problem. Of course, statistics and probablilities being
what the are, you <could> be the next case tomorrow whether you do
something or not.
I think this radon thing is a lot of BS and just a money making scheme for a
few to get rich.
All of a sudden a scare tactic is sent out to everyone. Smoking is the
cancer cause not the so-called radon in homes. I would like to see at least
one case caused by radon in homes.
Certainly smoking is a far greater risk...if you'll follow the links I
posted you'll see a table which lists the estimated differences from
smoking, general population and the Ra-related mortalities from lung
cancer. There is an increase from Ra above the general population but
nowhere near that of the smoking population.
In general, I don't disagree too much, however--I think, like many other
things, it's easy for it to be blown out of proportion and certainly
there are those who use it, like virtually anything else, as an
And, unfortunately, there's no way to pinpoint <precisely> the cause of
any specific malignancy in any given individual--it's all
epidemiological evidence--as I pointed out in my previous response.
I would apply some comom sense fixes to your basement, paint the cynder
block wall with water proof paint and seal any cracks. All this stuff
will help keep out dampness as well. You may have to add a ventilation
system to the basement. If you have hot air heat, make sure there are
no open return ducts in the basment. You may want to hav eone open feed
duct. You want to try to establish a positive pressure in the basment
and never a negative pressure.
There are cheap test kits. I think 4 pc/li is the "legal" limit.
I agree. Use the test kits in various low lying areas of your house
to see if you get any elevated readings. Also realize, in some areas
of the country, the water contains disolved radon and may release it
while you are running the shower. Other sources of radon could be
releasing the gas into you basement from the earth.
Radon is a heavy gas that tends to seek the lowest level of your
living quarters. If you have it you may need a mitigation solution
that uses blowers and pipes to vent it outside of your house.
Radon has also been implicated as a byproduct of tobacco
smoke, albeit small concentrations.
I can't quote where I read this, but consider it searchable
if you are really concerned about smoking/radon debates
in relation to CA.
I've never heard of that. Although nobody in my household smokes,
including myself, there are about 50 toxic compounds in tobacco smoke
including cyanides and carbon monoxide. There is a map that shows the
areas of the US where there are high concentrations of naturally
occurring radon. I reside in such an area and had my house tested for
radon before I purchased the house. Use of tobacco and constant
exposure to high levels of radon greatly increases the chance of lung
Hint. It sounds like you now have a home with a KNOWN problem. That
means when you go to sell it you will likely be required to disclose that
fact to potential buyers. Check with a local authority or attorney to
In any case, it is like cigarette smoking. You can't say how much is
too much, any amount increases the provability. Have it checked and take
We have interior and exterior perimeter basement waterproofing with
sump hole in the concrete basement floor. Can I just put a rado
pumping tube in the sump hole and pump it out throuth the roof. Do
need to seal around the sump lid to pumping tube to prevent basemen
air from being pumped out instead of the sub basement air?
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