Tag Archives: dangers of radon

FRAP Scorecard – What is it?

What is the Federal Radon Action Plan Scorecard?

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Since 2011, the federal government has been implementing the Federal Radon Action Plan (FRAP). In February 2016, they posted a Scorecard to report on the status of radon testing and radon mitigation activities implemented under FRAP. The scorecard records commitments based on their final status, green for complete and red for incomplete.

It also discusses the six commitments that will be continued under the National Radon Action Plan (NRAP), which took over the FRAP plan after 2016. The three green-marked commitments will either be expanded to include new strategies or simply continued and tracked. The three red-marked commitments will be addressed under current  NRAP programs.

Six Commitments Tracked by FRAP

Following are the six commitments defined by FRAP and a brief discussion of their progress.

  1. Testing tribal residences and schools for radon and educating Tribes of radon risk –The Bureau of Indian Affairs, has done radon testing on about  30% of approximately 3500 residences and 500 schools for the presence of radon. The remaining 70% are expected to be completed by 2020 and will be tracked and reported.
  2. Deducting radon testing and mitigation costs with the Health Care Savings Accounts (HSAs) – Because radon can have significant health-related effects, the IRS is currently working with the EPA to determine which expenses related to radon reduction can be deducted as medical expenses.
  3. Providing a radon mitigation cost set-aside through the VA’s Home Loan Guarantee Program – Although the VA has considered this action, it has determined that it is not feasible under current budget limitations. It will continue to prioritize work with guidelines for new construction programs and Minimum Property Requirements (MRP), which will be tracked and reported.
  4. Testing for radon in HUD public and assisted housing – While HUD currently lacks funding to perform radon tests as a part of its inspections of public and assisted housing, it is committed make this a standard part of the inspection process and will continue to explore its feasibility under NRAP.
  5. Creating a website to Increasing overall public awareness of radon in homes – Currently the EPA, HUD, USDA and HHS are collaborating on a website that works with existing campaigns to increase public awareness of the prevalence of radon and known health risks of radon in homes. The launch date of this website is as yet not determined.
  6. Engaging with the philanthropic organizations to promote public awareness of radon – The EPA, HUD and USDA is working to develop public-private partnerships to support programs to increase public awareness and reduce the presence and risks of radon in homes. So far efforts have been largely unsuccessful.

For further radon information from government agencies and programs, contact Ameriserv Radon Mitigation’s link page.

Ten Myths about Radon

Ten Myths about Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs nRadon Testing Iowa, Radon Mitigation Iowa, Myths about Radonaturally in the soil and often leaks into lower levels of homes. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking, and leads to 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually. Because you aren’t able to see, smell or taste radon gas, it’s important to test the air in your home and fix any problems you find. Many people don’t believe their home is in area with radon, one of the common myths about radon.

EPA’s Common Myths about Radon

Recently the EPA has reported ten common myths people have about radon, which follow.

1. Myth: Scientists are not sure that radon really is a problem.

Fact: While scientists are not certain of the exact number of deaths due to radon, the major health organizations, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Medical Association (AMA), and American Lung Association all agree that radon causes thousands of otherwise preventable lung cancer deaths annually, especially among smokers.

2. Myth: Radon testing is difficult and expensive.

Fact: Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive, either by testing your home yourself or hiring a qualified radon testing professional. It has been shown that long-term testing kits, for at least 90 days, are more accurate than short-term kits.

3. Myth: It is impossible to fix a home with radon problems.

Fact: Many homes have already been successfully fixed. The cost radon problems can be fixed by qualified radon mitigation contracts for about the same cost as other home repairs.

4. Myth: Radon affects only certain types of homes.

Fact: Radon can affect any type of home: old or new, drafty or insulated, and with or without basements. The primary factors that affect radon levels in homes are local soils, construction materials, and building methods.

5. Myth: Radon occurs in only certain areas of the country.

Fact: Radon levels do tend to be higher in certain areas, but they have occurred in all 50 states. The only way to be certain your house does not contain radon is to test it.

6. Myth: If my neighbor has/doesn’t have radon, it must be the same for me.

Fact: This is not true. Radon levels do vary greatly between homes. The only way to be sure your home does not have a radon problem is to test it.

7. Myth: Everyone should also test their water for radon.

Fact: Radon can get into homes through ground water, but it is most important to test the air first. While radon gets into some homes through water, it is important to first test the air in the home for radon. If your water comes from a public water supply that uses ground water, call your water supplier. If high radon levels are found and the home has a private well, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 for information on testing your water.

8. Myth: Selling a home with radon problems is difficult.

Fact: As long as the radon problems have been fixed, there is no problem selling a home. As a matter of fact, the added protection could be turned into a selling point.

9. Myth: It doesn’t make sense to check my home for radon because I’ve already lived here a long time.

Fact: Even if you’ve lived with an elevated radon level for many years, correcting it now will still reduce your risk for lung cancer.

10. Myth: Short-term tests don’t help determine whether or not to correct radon problems.

Fact: Short-term tests can be used to determine whether or not to reduce a high radon levels. If the short-term test result is close to pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter), it is difficult to determine whether the radon level is above or below that average throughout the years. Ideally, the level should be 2 pCi/L or lower to be safe.

For more information, refer to the EPA’s A Citizen’s Guide to Radon.

What If My Home Needs Radon Testing or Repair?

If you’ve tested your home and had a high radon level or want a professional in radon mitigation to test and/or repair your radon problems, contact the experts at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa.

Don’t put you and your family at an unnecessary risk for lung cancer!

What is the Radon Risk in Iowa?

The Risks of Radon Exposure in Iowa

Most people are aware that radon exposure is dangerous and should be avoided whenever possible. But many people also do not realize just how high the risk of radon exposure is in their homes. For people who live in Iowa, it is very common to find elevated levels of radon within their home. Because radon is undetectable to the human senses (it is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas), it is important to have your home tested for radon to determine whether or not it contains dangerously high levels of the radioactive, carcinogenic gas. Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa has several different radon testing options for use in your Iowa home.

Iowa Radon Risk for Your Home and Solutions from AmeriservWhy should you test your Iowa home for radon? The USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) considers indoor radon levels at or below 4.0 pCi/L to be safe. Keeping radon below this level reduces the chances of developing lung cancer due to radon exposure. Lung cancer related to radon exposure is a serious risk in the United States: 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year are the result of radon. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. This is why it is important to make sure the radon levels in your home are not dangerously or unusually high.

Iowa Radon Risk and What to do About it

What is the risk that your Iowa home has a radon problem? Some statistics that shed light on radon in Iowa are listed below:

  • Iowa is a Red Zone: The entire state of Iowa is in Zone 1, the red zone. This means that the state has a high potential to have elevated radon levels.
  • Iowa Average is 8.5 pCi/L: The average radon concentration in homes in Iowa is 8.5 pCi/L. This is over twice as much as the recommended maximum safe level and is over six times the national average for the same measure.
  • More Iowa Homes have Radon: The percentage of homes in Iowa that have radon levels over 4.0 pCi/L and also of homes that have radon levels over 20.0 pCi/L is higher than any other state.
  • Radon is Prominent in Iowa Homes: Five out of any seven homes in in Iowa contain elevated radon levels, according to the Iowa Public Health Department (IDPH).
  • Four Hundred Radon Deaths Per Year: Every year, around 400 people in Iowa die from lung cancer that was the result of prolonged or severe radon exposure.

These are some of the risks of radon in Iowa homes that can be reduced by testing for radon and installing a radon mitigation system. This system will help to keep radon levels lower by collecting the radon and releasing it outside the home before it can build up inside.

If you are worried about the Iowa Radon Risk in your home, contact the professionals at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation as soon as possible.

Radon: Environmental Carcinogen

Radon as an Environmental Carcinogen in Iowa

Carcinogens are defined as any substance that is directly related to causing cancer. There are a number of different types of carcinogens that work on the body in various ways to cause cancer. Many of these substances are radioactive, but a carcinogen does not have to be radioactive to cause cancer. Most people think of carcinogens as man-made materials and chemicals, but certain carcinogens exist naturally. In order to best protect yourself from the risk of developing cancer, it is important to be aware of the most common carcinogens in your area, and to take the necessary steps to avoid them. If you live in Iowa, one of the carcinogens that you need to be concerned about is radon.

Radon is a radioactive gas, a carcinogen, that occurs naturally as part of the decaying process of uranium. Most often, radon is produced by decaying uranium in the soil, where it seeps up into the air and enters your home. If you breathe too much of this gas over time, it can increase your chances of developing lung cancer.

Environmental Carcinogen Radon in Your Iowa HomeThe properties of radon make it very difficult to detect:

  • Colorless
  • Odorless
  • Tasteless
  • Very Dense
  • Chemically Unreactive

These characteristics make radon undetectable by the human senses. The best way to check for a radon problem in your home is to invest in radon testing and mitigation services from a professional mitigation company. The team at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa can help you ensure that the radon levels in your home are not at an unsafe level.

Testing for Radon in Your Iowa Home

It is important to the health of you and your family that you test your home for radon and invest in mitigation services to reduce the radon levels if they are too high. In the United States, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind only tobacco. In the state of Iowa alone, lung cancer caused by radon exposure kills over 400 people every year: five out of every seven homes in the state have elevated radon levels. So how do you protect yourself from this invisible, undetectable carcinogen?

Testing for the Carcinogen Radon in Iowa Homes from Ameriserv

The best way to ensure you and your family are not exposed to radon is to have your home tested for radon. Radon Testing in Iowa can determine the level of radon in your home and help you decide whether or not you need to investigate mitigation methods to get rid of the gas. Here at Ameriserv, we offer a couple of different testing options – short-term tests, long-term tests, and even DIY radon-testing kits. If your home has a radon level of higher than 4.0 pCi/L, it is time to get professional help.

Contact the radon mitigation and testing team at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation as soon as possible. We are committed to keeping Iowans safe from this harmful environmental carcinogen.

What to Do When You Suspect You Have Been Exposed to Radon?

Radon Exposure in Iowa

Radon Exposure and Health Risks in IowaElevated levels of radon in your home could be a major health concern for you and your family. Five out of every seven homes in Iowa have elevated levels of radon in them. Every year, about 400 Iowans die due to radon exposure, which is the number two cause of lung cancer. This is why it is so important to make sure that your home is free of radon. Ameriserv can help you with all of the tests and precautions to prevent radon from causing health issues for you and your family.

We offer several different options for radon testing as well as radon
mitigation. Our professionals can administer short-term and long-term tests to check the radon levels in your home. We also offer a $15 dollar at home radon detector kit so that you can begin the radon testing process on your own.

By what should you do if you think you may have been exposed to radon? The first step to take if you suspect radon exposure is to look for the common symptoms that are associated with prolonged exposure to high levels of radon. These symptoms include:

  • Lung Infections
  • Persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Heavy breathing

These are a few of the common signs that you may have been exposed to radon. If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is important to seek help immediately in order to prevent any further health problems. Mor information on the health risks of radon can be found on the EPA Radon Guide webpage.

What to Do to Prevent Radon Exposure in Your Iowa Home

Most major health problems associated with radon take several years to develop. That is why it is vital to take care of any radon problems in
your home right away to prevent prolonged exposure.

Radon Mitigation in Iowa to Prevent Health ProblemsThis can be done by first administering radon tests in your home. If you think you have already been exposed to radon, it may be wise to try a short-term radon test. This can give you an idea of the radon levels in your home. If the test results show a high radon level, contact a professional for further testing, or to have a radon mitigation system installed.

Ameriserv can install a radon mitigation system to effectively reduce the amount of radon in your home. To install this system, we drill a hole in your foundation to create a suction point. Next, attach PVC pipe to the hole to act as a vent for the gas. A fan is then used to make sure that the air flow is properly directed. With this system running continuously, radon will be able to exit your home, reducing the health risks for you and your family.

Contact the experts at Ameriserv for more information on what to do if you suspect a radon issue in your home, and check out the EPA Radon Guide for even more information. We offer quality testing and
mitigation services to those in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area.

The Real Cost of Radon vs. The Cost of Radon Mitigation

The Dangers of Radon Outweigh the Cost of Radon Mitigation

No one wants to spend money on things like radon mitigation. Most people would rather buy a movie, a new phone, a TV, or just go out to dinner. Unfortunately, you need to think twice before ignoring radon and radon mitigation. You have probably heard of radon and its dangers. If you have not here are a few facts about radon. Radon is:

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  • Radioactive
  • Colorless
  • Odorless
  • Tasteless
  • Naturally occurring
  • Easily inhaled

Basically, it is a dangerous gas that can not be detected except by radon testing. Radon appears when when the chemicals uranium and thorium, which reside in the earth, begin to decay. It is a gas that sticks to dust particles and other surfaces, sometimes radon can even affect your home’s water supply. It has been known to cause lung cancer if it goes unchecked in your home, business, or school. In fact, there are 21,000 deaths per year in the USA due to radon-induced lung cancers. That is a scary thought. Radon may not even effect you until years, or even decades, after you are exposed. Some signs of radon exposure are:

  • Persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Heavy breathing
  • Lung infections

What is even scarier is that Iowa is known to have naturally high levels of radon. This is because a long time ago there were glaciers that covered Iowa. They melted and left behind rocks that contained uranium and when they broke down and decayed they released the radon gas. If radon occurs in your home, business, or school, it could harm your family, customers, or students and staff. This is why you should consider getting your Iowa home, business, or school tested for the presence of radon. Luckily, Ameriserv can help you get radon testing and mitigation for your Iowa home.

Get Radon Mitigation in Iowa by Ameriserv

By getting regular radon testing you will be able to keep almost constant tabs on your home, business, or school’s radon levels. Radon tests will tell you whether or not the radon levels are dangerous. While any radon is not exactly safe, a level of 4 pCi/L is considered dangerous to the health of a building’s inhabitants. If your radon levels are at 4 pCi/L or higher you will need to receive radon mitigation.

Radon mitigation is a process that removes the radon from your home, business, or school and releases to the outside air where it will no longer pose a danger to you, your family, customers, or students and staff. The actual radon mitigation system is installed into your home, business, or school. There are a few different options, and we can help you, by doing a radon test, pick which option will be best for your structure.

Come to Ameriserv today to get a radon test, and if needed to get radon mitigation. Remember that radon is not something to be ignored. It may be tasteless, odorless, and colorless, but that does not mean it is not there. Radon can seriously harm a person’s health, especially if it goes unchecked. So, get radon testing today, because it is the best way to prevent radon in your home, business, or school. Call Ameriserv today to learn more about our radon tests, radon mitigation, radon mitigation costs in Iowa, or our service area. Contact us today!