Radon removal – Mitigation – Abatement, what’s the difference?

by | Mar 19, 2013 | Construction and Maintenance

The EPA urges that homeowners subject their homes to radon abatement and testing. After smoking, the inhalation or ingesting of radon gas is the second biggest cause of deadly lung cancer. The Surgeon General estimates that of all the deaths caused by lung cancer, radon is the direct cause of 36,000 of them every year. A radon level of 4 pCi/L is recommended, did you know that up to 15 million homes are above that level of toxicity? With a radon level in excess of 4 pCi/L those exposed are getting a dose of radioactivity as much as 35 times as much as the NRC allows at the fence of a radioactive dump site. Death from exposure to radon is 1 per 100, death when exposed to other carcinogens is 1 in 100,000. Radon exposure is 1,000 times more deadly than any other EPA carcinogen, are you now scared enough to do something about protecting yourself and your family? Radon abatement is a way of mitigating the possibility of radon buildup in your home above a recommended rate of 2 pCi/L. This inert, odorless, tasteless, invisible gas is the densest gas known and as a result it lurks in the lower regions of your home. How can radon enter your home if it’s the heaviest gas known to man? It can reach dangerous levels through what is known as a “stack effect”. This is a vacuum which is caused by warm indoor air which can draw the gas up from the rock and soil and into the basement through cracks in the foundation and through gaps where pipes and cables enter and leave the house. As radon is a single atom gas it easily permeates concrete, mortar, tar paper, sheetrock, insulation and paneling. Once radon gas has entered your home, it decays into harmful radioactivity and it them moves through your home, borne by the heating and ventilating system. Nothing will stop radon from circulating once it gets into the basement, it must be mitigated and abated before it can kill. The terms radon abatement and radon mitigation are all one in the same thing, the terms are completely interchangeable. Technically speaking, abatement is “the act of abating or the state of abatement, reduction, decrease, mitigation or alleviation”. Using the dictionary definition radon abatement is the act of reducing, decreasing, mitigating or alleviating radon from the environment. Radon can be removed, depending on the structure of the house. A house that has a basement or crawl space can have a suction fan attached to a pipe which allows for the basement to be evacuated of radon and the radon in turn is blown into free air. A house built on a slab can have a pipe driven into the sub soil, the fan creates a vacuum under the slab effectively stopping the radon from entering the building.

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