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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Radon Levels in Caves Could be Hazardous

Radon Levels in Caves

Uranium can be detected on earth as far back as six billion years ago. While it is one of the heaviest metals its structure does not allow it to penetrate the earth's crust, so it remains on the surface. Radon naturally occurs when uranium decays and turns into an odorless and colorless gas that is released into the air. Radon is one of the heaviest metals that remain a gas under normal environmental circumstances. Naturally-occurring radiation is responsible for over 50% of the earth’s heat, even though it is crucial in providing a large proportion of the world’s electricity, it does have fatal side effects. 

Normally, radon levels in natural environments, such as caves, are very low because the gas escapes into the air. This process is inhibited when the radon is trapped inside of caves, allowing levels to rise to a dangerous point. Because they are rich in uranium ore, caves are littered with fragmented pockets that disperse this gas and raising radon to deadly levels. When caves are located near silicic volcanic rocks or areas frequented by earthquakes, they have naturally occurring higher levels of radon gas. 

With a lack of ventilation, long term exposure to high levels of radon in caves can be deadly. This health hazard was discovered in the 1940’s and 50’s during peak production times in mines, not only with uranium but other hard rock materials as well. These miners had significantly higher incidences of lung cancer deaths which led to improved ventilation in the mines in an attempt at lowering radon gas levels. Many countries have done studies to determine the possible health hazards of exposure to high levels of radon in caves. The U.S. participated in these tests due to concern for some of the highest levels of radon occurring through the middle and upper parts of Northern America. 

Collection of data was done over a period of a year to determine how weather factors into changing levels of radon in caves. Scientists recorded daily and seasonal climatic changes and their effects on the radon levels inside the caves. What they found was that levels were lower in winter and higher in summer, suggesting that higher temperatures did not allow radon gas to dissipate quickly. The results also indicated that winds also play a role in lowering radon gas levels. In the summer when there is little circulation in the air, the temperature inside the caves is uniform. During the winter when the air blows directly into the caves it lowers the temperature inside thereby, lowering radon levels. This natural ventilation also occurs during heavy rainfall periods.

During these experiments, various techniques were used to collect radon gas; from simple cups with filters to sputum collection from national park employees. In addition, they tested caves with large bat populations because these areas are known to have low to medium levels of radon. In the end, the results were the same - although somewhat inconclusive. As the studies done decades ago had indicated, long term exposure to radon in caves is detrimental to one’s health. However the fluctuating seasonal data for short term excursion into caves had too many factors to determine an exact impact this, in part, is due to the fact that radon has a half life of only 4 days.

Monday, March 16, 2015

How Radiation Causes Cancer

Radiation and the Cancer Process

This day and age there are many people that are concerned with radiation. Radiation has been in the news for many different reasons. Some types of radiation are used to kill and to treat different types of cancer while other types of radiation are actually the causes of different types of cancer. It is interesting to note that radiation can be both a positive and negative things when it comes to cancer and a person really does well to investigate radiation to find out how they can improve or minimize their risk of getting this potentially fatal disease through the different types of radiation.

 X-rays, Gamma Rays and Their Roles in Cancer:

Both x-ray and Gamma rays can come from an organic source in our earth. Our world is surrounded by different radioactive elements but radioactive elements can also be human made as well. When it comes to things such as Gamma rays and x-rays they were both created by humans and they give off nuclear energy. These types of rays are made in nuclear power plants. When these types of rays go through the cell in the human body they can cause the cells to change or to mutate. Quite often, these mutated cells will eventually expire on their own and cause no damage to the body. Other times the same cells can mutate and that mutation can lead to cancer. The reason that many people want to avoid these types of x-rays is because they do not want to do anything that would potentially increase their risk of developing cancer.

 Medical Radiation

Many cancer patients will use radiation therapy as a way to treat their cancer. When a person does receive this type of therapy they get high doses of ionizing radiation. This type of body radiation is used to go straight to the cancerous cells in order to cause their demise. At the same time this type of radiation therapy can cause different changes or mutations in other cells of the human body and then turn it can actually cause a person to develop a different type of cancer.

 Natural Sources

Natural radiation radon is a type of natural radiation. Radon is a type of gas that cannot be seen and has no smell and it is made up of a breakdown of different radioactive chemicals that are found on the earth. These natural elements can be found in things such as soil and rocks. Radon gas has been cited as the most frequent cause of environmental cancers by worldwide health organizations.

 Radiation and You

In reality it is virtually impossible to escape radiation completely. At some point in life every human being is going to have to be exposed to a certain level of radiation when it comes to testing, or their natural environment. In reality the best thing that people can do is try their best to lead healthy lifestyles, and of course get early prevention checks for cancer. While no one wants to get cancer there are many innovating tests that being done, and also there are many lifestyle changes that a person can make in order to lower their risk of getting cancer.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Mitigating Radon From Crawl Spaces

Crawl Spaces: Major Radon Infiltration Areas

When you are worried about radon in your home, you need to make sure that you get a system installed to help mitigate the radon. There are many times when you find radon in crawl space areas, and you need to be sure you have installed the right kind of removal system. We can help you with the radon emanating crawl space areas, and we can install a system that is going to help you remain safe.

Let’s discuss radon measurements for homes with crawl spaces:

When we put the radon detectors above crawl space areas, we are going to connect them to an alarm that is going to go off when levels of the gas exceed the national limit. Also, we are going to make sure that the alarm is going to catch your notice. The presence of radon is going to be detected immediately, and will determine that crawl space mitigation is warranted to prevent radon-induced lung cancer.

 Radon removal systems for crawl spaces:

The remediation system that we put in is going to mitigate the radon from the crawl space area, and it is going to make it much easier for you to keep the space healthy. A suction fan will be installed in line with a PVC pipe to extract the radon vapors from below a polyethylene shield. The radon mitigation system becomes a permanent fixture within the crawl space to continuously vent the gasses away from living spaces. Our system lowers the radon levels to nearly zero, which helps to protect the health of you and your family members.

 Ongoing monitoring:

If you want to have the system monitored by a service center, we can have someone checking on the radon levels at frequent intervals. When they get too high, we can take action to further reduce them. Radon in crawl space areas is a major threat and if you refuse to deal with it, anyone who goes down there is in danger. In many cases, elevated radon levels in crawl spaces can create a radon problem in living space above, so mitigating is always in your best interest. 

When you want to get the system installed to remove radon from crawl space areas, we can help you by designing an effective system to actively draw the gas away from the structure. We can help to mitigate radon in crawl space areas using the most effective methods available, and we will make sure that you are happy with the work we have done. When you are concerned about the radon in your crawl space, we can help. Our crawl space radon mitigation systems correct the problem quickly, effectively, and permanently!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Types of Lung Cancers Triggered by Radon Gas

Radon-Induced Carcinoma: The In-Depth Perspective

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers. As the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, it kills more than 150,000 people in America every year, roughly one American every three and a half minutes. The incidence of radon induced lung cancer is also increasing at one-half a percent each year worldwide.

For now, about 171,841 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed yearly in the United States and more than one million worldwide. Overall, lung cancer is responsible for approximately 28 percent of all cancer-related deaths, more than colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Why is Lung Cancer from Radon so Deadly?
Lung cancer is deadly because it is usually in advanced stages by the time physicians can diagnose it. Thus, the number of yearly deaths nearly equals the yearly diagnoses rate. Overall, more than 70 percent of lung tumors are diagnosed only when they have grown very large or metastasized. However, lung cancer is potentially curable if diagnosed early.

The Science of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer occurs when normal lung cells change and begin to divide uncontrollably. Like almost all of the body's cells, lung cells grow, divide, and produce more cells as needed for proper functioning. If cells begin to grow when they are not needed, they form a mass of extra cells that, in turn, form tumors.

Types of Lung Cancers
The two general classifications for radon induced lung cancer are small cell and non-small cell lung cancer. The most common form is non-small cell cancer, which accounts for about 80 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses. This type tends to grow and spread more slowly. Non-small cell cancer is usually broken down into three types and named after the kind of cells involved:
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma- thin, flat cells that look like fish scales, squamous cells are found in the tissue that forms the surface of the skin, the lining of the hollow organs of the body, and the passages of the respiratory and digestive tracks. Approximately 30 to 35 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses are squamous cell carcinomas and are found near a bronchus.
  • Adenocarcinoma- This type of radon-triggered cancer begins in cells that line certain internal organs and that have glandular properties. Usually found in the lung's outer region, it is the most common of the lung cancers found in women and accounts for approximately 40 percent of all lung cancer diagnoses.
  • Large Cell Carcinoma- This form of cancer forms large cells and they look abnormal when viewed under a microscope. Large cell carcinoma may form in almost any part of the lung. It tends to grow and spread quickly and, as a result, has poor prognosis. Large cell carcinoma accounts for about 10 to 15 percent of all lung cancers arising from radon exposure.

Small cell lung cancer accounts for about 20 percent of all diagnoses. It is considered the most aggressive type of lung cancer because it spreads quickly and widely throughout the body. Small cell lung cancer is also known as oat cell carcinoma and small cell undifferentiated carcinoma. It often begins in the bronchi near the center of the lungs.

In summary, lung cancers are some of the most devastating illnesses out there. One proactive measure that you can take to avoid the affliction is to test your office and household for radon gas. Being the second most common trigger of lung cancers, it makes good sense to detect and correct this issue before the health implications arise.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Radioactive Gas Known as Radon

Danger is a thing associated with things away from the home. Radon is one of those exceptions. It is a slow killer and causes health problems that bring about the demise of millions. This radioactive gas is a natural component of the soil and seeps into almost every home in the United States. Radioactive gas levels below 4pCi/L present problems but can be abated. Radon abatement to below this threshold is much safer. Radon test research shows that one in sixteen residents show difficulties with radioactive gas levels. Radon mitigation will eradicate a large percentage of this radioactive gas, as much as 99%. There is no reason to suffer this invasive problem. 

Radioactive gas reduction is not only important in homes but in schools and in businesses. People are especially susceptible to this radioactive gas at home. This natural breakdown of uranium embedded in the soil seeps out. Houses constructed close to the ground are more accessible to radon infiltration. Homes built without basements are better able to vent this radioactive gas. Radioactive gas testing can reveal this toxic gas and aid in radioactive gas mitigation. The radioactive gas division of the CDC offers the public information and recommendations for radon testing and removal.

Radioactive gas is not detectable through normal avenues. It cannot be smelled and is not visible to the naked eye. Radon abatement is best done by professionals but there are DIY home kits available. The EPA has placed guidelines for consumers and home construction experts to follow. Radioactive gas testing detects radon levels and the World Health Organization offers suggestions on how to bring down the concentrations of radon.

Radioactive gas remediation is done through home basement vents and fans strategically placed in crawl spaces. Professional radon reduction methods provide sophisticated post-treatment testing methods and it is recommended to follow up test every couple of years to assure toxic radioactive gas stays at safe levels. Radioactive gas testing is not expensive and can help prevent tumors and other health issues. Tumors are growths on the body and some can become cancerous. Stimulated growths by radioactive gas may cause lung cancer and other diseases. Performing radon tests can keep a home free of toxic radioactive gasses and help avoid the tragic consequences of being exposed to radiation.

The idea of indoor radiation for many people is something belonging to atomic spills or science fiction movies; not their home. No one wants to imagine sleeping with this kind of toxin day in and day out. Eating dinner and watching television with an enemy that can destroy their serenity. This is why radon mitigation is so important, so homeowners will not have to worry about the radioactive gas. Sitting in a hospital with a loved one with any illness is devastating but when it might have been prevented, it is unbearable.

Radon tests are affordable for any homeowners. The reduction of radioactive gas through testing and abatement may prevent the chance of small cell lung cancer and tumors. Surely, this is not the only cause of these problems but radon reduction in the home is one safeguard each individual homeowner can take. Radioactive gas mitigation is another way of improving the environment for all families, one home at a time.