SWAT Environmental

Radon is a naturally produced radioactive gas that can enter your home at any time. It increases the risk of developing lung cancer when people are exposed to high concentrations over the course of months or years. Fortunately, SWAT Environmental specializes in radon mitigation and testing for residential and commercial properties. They can use advanced tools and techniques to lower radioactive gas levels. You need to know how SWAT Environmental can handle radon problems in your home or business. Radon testing is the first step your home inspector SWAT Environmental will take. This process can be done quickly at first to determine if you have an immediate problem and require radon remediation. A longer radon testing process will provide results that are more accurate, if time permits. Testing will show just how serious the problem is in your home. When results above 2.7pCi/L, you should strongly consider a radon mitigation system from S.W.A.T. Results below a specific threshold show that radon abatement might not be required at the moment. However, many citizens choose to have the radon mitigation system installed even when the readings are marginal since the units not only reduce radon levels, but also improve overall air quality within the dwelling.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Relevant Published Radon Studies

Everyone knows that smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. What most people do not know, however, is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the country. If forced to guess, many people might select asbestos contamination, due to the large number of asbestos-related ads placed by law firms on late-night television. They would be wrong, however. Instead, studies have shown that exposure to radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer.

In many instances, people have never even heard of radon gas or suppose that it is some sort of industrial effluvium that affects specialized populations such as miners. However, radon gas exposure is actually found in many homes across the country, and is especially concentrated in certain regions of the nation such as Colorado. This does not mean that radon is not a problem elsewhere—just that it is a larger problem in those areas where it is especially prevalent.

Radon and its so-called daughters are found everywhere on earth, but concentration levels are low in outdoor areas due to constant air movements. Inside, however, radon levels elevate due to the confined nature of air movements inside most homes. Without an opportunity to disperse naturally, radon levels rise to the point where they become an increasing risk as they become ever more present in the environment.

One European study examined radon levels in 9 different EU-area nations and found that the average level of radon present in the homes of control group participants was approximately 97 Becquerel per square meter whereas the average level in homes of study participants found to have some sign of lung cancer was 104 Becquerel. While this showed how relatively small increases in radon levels can have an effect on health, the truly alarming results were found in homes with increasingly higher levels of exposure.

A series of American studies that looked at homes in Missouri, Idaho, New Jersey, Utah, and Iowa found basically the same thing—namely, that lung cancer rates rose in direct correlation with rising levels of radon gas in the home. In all of these radon studies, the rate of lung cancers kept rising as the radon levels rose. No ceiling to the relationship was uncovered, which is to say that at no level of radon exposure did the lung cancer rate finally level off to the point where it did not continue to rise. The radon gas study published by the US EPA is especially alarming.

In general, lung cancers rose at a rate of about 8 percent over the otherwise expected lifetime rate for every 16 percent rise in radon gas exposure rates. Of course these rates are much less alarming when viewed as a totality of population rather than as observable laboratory incidents. Since the lung cancer death rate for people who have lived to their mid-70s and not died of something else is less than one percent for non-smokers and about 10 percent for those who do smoke, the rises due to radon gas reach to a level of about 16 percent for smokers and still well under one percent for non-smokers in heavy-radon home environments over 400 Becquerel per square meter.

The disparity in these two rates reveals that radon might be the number two cause of lung cancer, but it is an impossibly long way from challenging for the number one spot held by smoking. In addition, radon testing can lead to relatively simple radon reduction methods that will drop the overall home exposure without requiring any exertion of willpower or change in human behavior on the part of the residents.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Radon's Relationship to Cancer

Types of Cancer and How Radon Contributes to Contraction

Cancer: It's a reality we don't like to think about. However, approximately 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed at some point in their lives. By understanding the common types, you can take steps to minimize your risk.

Radon Link to Lung and Bronchus Cancer

Most understand the link between smoking and lung and bronchus cancer. However, there is a hidden danger you may be exposed to without even knowing it. Radon, a colorless, odorless gas, may be present in your home. 
Most radon exposure occurs indoors, and elevated radon levels have been identified in every state. When radon decays, it becomes radon progeny, which attaches to dust and can be easily breathed in. To avoid the development of lung and bronchus cancer due to radon exposure, having a professional radon-testing company to test your home is the best step.

Prostate Cancer
Approximately one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and 27,540 die annually as a result. On the plus side, most men are able to survive prostate cancer. Regular checkups are the key to early prevention. Although there are limited studies that link radon exposure to this type of cancer, most scientists agree that exposure to radiation (which is what radon gas is) will increase the risk of acquiring many forms of cancer.

Breast Cancer
Men and women both should be aware of breast cancer as it affects both sexes. Signs that breast cancer may be developing include:
  • Change in the feel of the nipple
  • Discharge
  • Presence of a lump

Colon and Rectal Cancer

Colon and rectal cancer both share many of the same symptoms and often begin as a polyp. These growths in the colon or rectum do not always turn cancerous, but those experiencing rectal bleeding should have colon and rectal cancer screening performed.

Bladder Cancer
If you have noticed blood in your urine, you are exhibiting the most common sign of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer causes approximately 16,000 deaths in the US annually, so symptoms should be taken seriously. Radon within a home's water supply can increase the risk of bladder cancer by causing genetic mutations within cells of the digestive organs.

Melanoma Skin Cancer
Early-stage melanoma skin cancer is easily treated, so early detection is essential. Those suffering with melanoma skin cancer have various treatment options including:
  • Surgery
  • Immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer that attacks the immune system, and it can be confused with Hodgkin lymphoma. If you are have swollen lymph nodes accompanied by fatigue, weight loss and fever, ruling out Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is important.

Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer, which occurs in the neck, comes in various forms. However, they share similar symptoms including a lump in the neck, trouble breathing, and throat pain. Thyroid cancer treatment can be highly effective when detected early.

Kidney, Renal Cell, and Renal Pelvis Cancer

Kidney, renal cell, and renal pelvis cancer are synonymous, and 61,560 new cases are diagnosed annually. Those at a higher risk of the development of kidney, renal cell, and renal pelvis cancer include smokers and those who are overweight. These illnesses can be prevented by testing the local water supply for radon and curing the problem if it exists via a aeration mitigation system.

Endometrial Cancer
Beginning in the lining of the uterus, endometrial cancer affects approximately 650,000 women annually. Those particularly susceptible of development of endometrial cancer include women who have never been pregnant and those who have had more years of menstruation.


Leukemia, a cancer of the body's blood-forming tissues, comes in many forms. The white blood cells prevent infection, but those suffering with leukemia have deformities in these cells, so infections can turn deadly. Treatment options vary and are dependent on factors such as age and the type of leukemia cells found. Although scientific studies are still in the works to identify the definitive link between indoor radon exposure and leukemia, the risk of getting the disease is reduced as exposure to environmental radiation (such as radon gas) is minimized.

Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is more common than many realize, and symptoms can start off as subtle. If you are experiencing continual bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and pale-colored stools, schedules an examination to rule out pancreatic cancer. Limiting ingestion of radioactive particles from well and municipal water supplies can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer which makes testing for radon in drinking water of utmost importance.
In summary, there are many forms of cancer that we as humans are susceptible to contracting. By making efforts to live a "safe" lifestyle, eat a healthy foods, and limit exposure to radon gas; we can all minimize the risks of acquiring many of these forms of cancers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Commercial Radon Mitigation

In recent years, the commercial radon mitigation industry has experienced a discernible growth in business. While radon testing and mitigation is often associated with residential real estate transactions, radon is also present in commercial and public buildings of all sizes. When an industrial warehouse building is determined to need radon mitigation work, a commercial radon mitigation specialist is needed to reduce the levels of the harmful gas. A commercial radon mitigation specialist might be doing radon testing at an office building or condominium one day, then installing an exterior active soil depressurization system the next.

Radon testing can be done with either a short-term test or a long-term test. A short-term test generally involves using a testing device for approximately 2 to 90 days and a long-term test requires at least 90 days of testing time. Although many of the same principles and techniques used in residential radon reduction are utilized in commercial radon mitigation, radon mitigation specialists need to be knowledgeable concerning commercial construction designs and building codes. Commercial mitigation professionals regularly strive to maintain the existing exterior appearance and integrity of every building they work on. Fortunately, most radon mitigation systems are not clearly visible on building exteriors.

Reducing the concentrations of radon in multifamily houses and apartment complex buildings that contain multiple apartments can be complex and challenging work for commercial radon mitigation workers. Schools and day care centers are sometimes found to contain high levels of radon. In schools and day care centers that were built many years ago, the concentrations of radon can sometimes be at very high levels. When this happens, the students and staff members often have to be moved to other locations while commercial radon mitigation personnel work to reduce the radon levels. As with other structures that contain lots of rooms, such as apartment complex buildings with many apartments, schools and day care centers can pose a challenge for commercial radon mitigation professionals. In large structures, including industrial warehouse buildings, the levels of radon can vary from room to room.

When commercial radon specialists perform radon testing and mitigation work in these buildings, the process can sometimes be done quickly, or it can last for extended periods of time. Whether it is at an office building, warehouse, condominium or multifamily house, commercial radon mitigation workers regularly perform a valuable service. The field of commercial radon testing and radon mitigation is consistently growing. When real estate transactions occur, there is always a need for these types of workers.

Radon Testing

Radon is a radioactive gas that normally comes from the soil where certain matters have decayed and gotten into the soil. A structure is then built on top of this soil and can cause an unsafe environment. Radon can creep into structures through ventilation and cracks in the surface of the structure. Once radon enters a building it most likely will become trapped. After this occurs, the only way to determine the levels of radon is to perform Radon Testing. You can purchase a commercial Radon Testing kit or you can call in a professional Radon Testing Team to do this for you.

Radon Testing has become a very important thing across the United States and many other parts of the world. Radon is very dangerous and can occur in the air or in the water. Radon Testing can be performed by a professional or just an average individual. If the levels of radon in the air prove to be too high, then Radon Mitigation will be needed to reduce the levels present in a building. Radon Mitigation is where the levels of radon are collected from the air beneath the surface and the ventilation is increased. There are also ways to remove radon out of the water, but this procedure is a little more intense. A Radon Testing kit can be purchased at your local hardware store. It is a Radon Testing unit that is similar to a charcoal canister that constantly monitors and records the amount of radon present. This Radon Testing unit is self maintained, you just place it in a corner somewhere and let it do its thing. It records the amount of radon detected daily for the 90 days you perform your Radon Testing then you take the average and this will give you a ball park number of the amount of radon your home contains.

No amount of radon is safe, but because it is impossible to remove all of the radon in certain areas, the U.S. has put standards on it. If a building or structure is said to have more than 4 measured units of radon, it is said to be unsafe. Two units is the ideal amount of radon that can be present and still be considered safe, but in certain locations, reading 3.9 or less is acceptable. Radon Testing should be performed at least twice, to ensure that the conditions were the same throughout both test sessions, radon levels can fluctuate daily based on wind conditions as well as a difference in ventilation. A typical Radon Testing is ideally 90 days; this is considered a short term test to see if the radon level is unsafe. A long term Radon Testing would be performed for one year to get a better idea of true radon levels, but if you do not have that much time, a short term Radon Testing will work. If, in fact, the radon level is over 4 units, proper procedures must be taken to reduce the levels. Radon testing is essential because you cannot see radon, but you breathe it. High amounts of radon will break down the lungs and most likely cause lung cancer, leading to possible death; this is why Radon Testing is so important.

Radon gets into the soil, which gets into the water. Radon testing for the water would have to consist of a water sample that would require being sent off to the proper laboratory for testing. Radon Testing is recommended whenever moving to a new location. Ideally it should be performed by the landlord or owner, but can also be performed by the tenant or buyer to protect them.

Radon in Water

Here are five of the usual questions asked about radon in water:

1) - What is Radon?
2) - Is there really radon in my water?
3) - Why is radon in water that I drink a health concern?
4) - What levels of radon should I be concerned about?
5) - What is the procedure in testing for radon in water?
6) - I receive my public water from a supplier, so how will any new EPA regulations affect me?

Radon is an equal opportunity annoyer and wannabe killer, and easily slides into your life without even knowing about it because it has NO odor, color, or taste. And most times it sneaks into your life from the ground as well as the air you breathe. However, water is this sneaky thief's chosen approach. As mentioned radon gas can dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources such as ground water and wells. Ergo, radon in water is your companion in the shower, washing dishes, cooking, and in the air inside your property.

Radon in water is similar to those soft drinks most of the younger generation love, yet, even after you open a can or bottle to the open air, some radon will still remain in the water. The good news about radon in water is that if you have some concern you should not needlessly worry about any radon in water if it comes from rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. This form of radon in water is called "surface water" because the radon is released into the air before it ever arrives in the form of a bottle or can.

Answering the earlier questions, not all drinking water contains radon. Your only concern is if it comes from underground such as a well that pumps the water. Although, not all underground sources contain radon. In terms of radon in water as far as we have been able to determine there is no government drinking water regulations for radon. But the EPA has proposed to regulate radon in water, especially drinking water. Also, the federal government does not currently regulate private water wells.

If your question was how you get rid of radon in water, if you get your water from a public water system, find out whether that system gets it water from a surface, like lakes, rivers or a reservoir, rather than an underground source. Finally, if you have a private well the EPA suggests you test your water on a regular basis for the levels of radon in water.