Is There Radon in My Workplace?

Is There Radon in My Workplace?

Most of us have heard of carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless gas that can cause major health issues including death. But did you know that radon, which is also a colorless, odorless gas, can also be deadly? Believe it or not, radon is actually the number one cause of lung cancer for people who don’t smoke. (Don’t believe us? Then believe the EPA!) If you need a quick orientation on exactly what radon is and how it can affect your business, then read on because you should be asking, “Is there radon in my workplace?” You just might save a life.

    Radon is a naturally-occurring gas that results from the breakdown of radioactive elements in the soil which then rise into manmade structures through small cracks in the foundation. Generally speaking, the level of radon in your lower level will be cut in half for each extra level of the structure. So, for example, if the radon level in your basement or crawl space is 20.0 pCi/L, then on your ground-level floor it would be closer to 10.0 pCi/L, and in the next floor above it would be 5.0 pCi/L, and so on. The EPA advises that any amount of radon can be toxic, but if you have a level of 4.0 pCi/L or greater, then it’s really important for your long-term wellness to enact a radon mitigation plan. More on that below – first, let’s go into greater detail about how to assess your radon levels.
    There are a couple of options here, but both involve at least a small expense of time and money. First, you can buy a handheld radon monitor to get a reading of the current radon levels in your business. This will require you to place the device in one area at a time for a certain time period to see the current and average levels of radon for that part of the structure. Radon levels naturally fluctuate, so it’s important to do this test for a few days, but again, in order to really know whether you’ve got a problem you might want to test various areas of your building. This can be time-consuming and distract you from all the many things you have going on as a business or other facility manager. So you should also consider having a professional company like AdvantaClean do a radon test for you to independently verify your own results. Regardless, you’ll want a service provider who sends a second test kit to a third party for final confirmation.
    If your commercial building has people in it that you care about, then the answer is “yes.” But the answer is an even bigger “YES” if those people include kids or elderly people because they are more susceptible to the negative effects of long-term exposure to toxic concentrations of radon. Your area of the country might even have regulations that require you to test for radon. To be sure, check the EPA for regional and state regulations. You might save a life here!

    Is Poor Air Quality Affecting Your Productivity?
    If you’re at 4.0 pCi/L or above, then it’s time to invest in a professional radon mitigation solution. This will consist of placing a suction and ventilation system in the lower level of your structure to pull out the radon from the surrounding ground beneath your foundation and evacuating it into the atmosphere. The complexity and expense of this process will depend on your particular building. Sometimes it can be really difficult to get the required pipes through your foundation walls and through your lower level to the right locations, and it could also be difficult to find the right place to mount the fan which provides the suction for the system on the exterior of your building. You’ll want to have this done by a certified professional company because you don’t want to take any chances with radon now or in the future. The good news is that radon systems are rated to last for years, and any company worth their salt is going to guarantee your satisfaction and to get your levels below 4.0 pCi/L and keep them there. If you don’t have this kind of assurance from a company, then don’t give them your hard-earned dollars. Insist on the highest quality of workmanship and clear communication from your radon mitigation provider.
    The good news is that you’ve already found a great place for all of your radon questions and mitigation needs: AdvantaClean. We’re locally owned and ready to serve you regardless of where you live. Our professional teams are standing by to get to work for your commercial business today. Take the guess work out of radon and contact us today!

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