Is Radon Bad?
Friday, March 22, 2013 • 12:30pm
Cigarettes, Radon and Crack
I’m sure the first reaction from a lot of folks reading that title is “Here are some seemingly unrelated topics” or “this guy is nuts” or maybe a little of both.
Let’s take topic 1- Cigarettes. We all know that cigarettes are bad for you. There are anti-smoking Public Health Commercials on T.V. and warnings on the packaging of the cigarettes themselves.
The chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco smoke make smoking harmful. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals. At least 50 are known carcinogens (causes cancer in humans) and many are poisonous.
Cigarettes are one of few products which can be sold legally which can harm and even kill you over time if used as intended.
Cigarettes are the largest cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Allow me to be Captain Obvious for a moment: If you can avoid it, DON”T INHALE CIGARETTE SMOKE
This leads us into Topic-2: Radon. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, occurring naturally as the decay product of uranium.
Radon is often the single largest contributor to an individual's background radiation dose, and is variable from location to location. Radon gas from natural sources can accumulate in buildings, especially in confined areas such as basements.
Studies show a clear link between breathing high concentrations of radon and incidence of lung cancer. Thus, radon is considered a significant contaminant that affects indoor air quality.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking, causing 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States.
Captain Obvious again: If you can avoid it, DON”T INHALE RADON GAS.
Now Topic-3: Crack. First a word about soil gas: Soil gases include air, water vapor and the pollutants that might be picked up from the soil underneath a building and carried by air leakage into the building. The chief concerns among these pollutants are radon and methane gases. Did you catch the wording there? “Carried by air leakage into the building”
How could air leakage come through our foundation and into the basement? CRACK. A small insignificant looking crack in your basement wall could be letting Radon into your home. These small cracks look harmless enough. After all there is no water leaking through it, it’s been there for years, hasn’t gotten any bigger. No big deal, right? Maybe it is. What if some colorless, odorless, tasteless gas was entering your home unobserved? The second leading cause of lung cancer (after cigarettes) is Radon.
Why take a chance? Hire a professional licensed contractor to come in and permanently seal those cracks. Common non-structural crack repairs typically start at about $350. It’s a small price to pay for Peace of Mind.
Captain Obvious says: “NO CRACK IS A GOOD CRACK, HAVE IT FIXED TODAY”.
A-1 Basement Solutions gives free basement health inspections to New Jersey homeowners. Contact A-1 Basement Solutions at 908-322-1313, or info@A-1Basements.com for a free in-home inspection and detailed quote.
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Doug Lynch is a basement expert from Westfield, NJ where he lives with his wife Kelli and their dogs Sammy and Angie. Doug teaches a class at Westfield Adult School “Keeping Your Basement Dry” and is the Author of Basements 101 Everything You Need to Know About Your Basement. Doug has testified in NJ Superior Court as an Expert Witness in Basement Waterproofing and does seminars for local Real Estate Agents to educate them about basements. Doug is the owner of A-1 Basement Solutions in Scotch Plains and authors the popular BASEMENT SCHOOL Blog.
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