Radon = radiation risk

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 15th, 2018, 7:27 am #1

I've been aware for a long time but never did anything about it. Now I'm reminded by a recent program on DIY television channel that it's something to consider for anyone with a basement, crawl space, or water well. I also wonder about our public water supply and bottled water.

I plan to get a test kit (if not too expensive) and report my results here. Please do likewise so we can compare notes.

As usual I'm starting at ground zero, so if anyone knows more--please post!
Thx, jb
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 15th, 2018, 2:52 pm #2

Looks like it's under $20 via a Univ of Kansas program:
https://www.epa.gov/radon/find-radon-te ... ofessional
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 29th, 2018, 4:53 pm #3

University of Kansas reportedly does it for <$20. I'm in process of checking it out. (Anybody?)

Seems to me if only a few of us have it done, should give a general idea about our area. I'm also going to contact our city water department, maybe they know more.

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas, odorless, tasteless, so the only way to know for sure is run a test. Fairly simple process, iiuc. Collect an air sample then scan it somehow--gas chromatography, mass spectrometer, Geiger counter, or whatever...?

My only prior knowledge relates to oil fields. Somehow the surface concentration helps them predict where to drill most efficiently, best chance to hit oil. So it supplants their underground topography maps from sonar or other studies. Finding oil is partly an art, not all science.

It's also supposed to be a major problem in areas with fracking, so I worry about Hamilton County to our east with all the new coal mines around Dahlgren, Illinois and some fracking in the works too (if not already started?). That was formerly all good farm land, as safe & good as any place on earth. This, and all the pipelines running through there, raise valid EPA questions for the future.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 30th, 2018, 6:49 am #4

There are cheaper (and more expensive places) that will test your Radon level, but off hand I prefer a university. Here are a couple of leading links:
https://radon.illinois.gov
https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality- ... ir-quality

Looks like there are 2 basic types of air quality tests, short term (a few days) or longer term (several months to a year), as well as tests of drinking water. Yes, Radon is soluble in water. 

Which is best? I don't know but suspect the longer term air quality tests (2-3 months+) are more reliable. Short term tests are for those who want a quick answer--such as those with water wells and basements, or if buying a new home. I'll probably cough up ~$25 for a longer term air quality test although it's a bit more expensive. Not sure yet whether to test my crawl space or air in the house.

I'm also very curious about bottled water vs water out of our faucets, but haven't read enough in that area to comment yet. I'll just note that our human body is 70% water, so surely it's important.

Should you get tested? 
(a summary of EPA maps)

Definitely YES if you live in most of Northern Illinois (Springfield & northward), a RED (high risk) zone, likely to exceed EPA safety standards unless you mitigate! Most fixes involve increased ventilation under the house for basements & crawl spaces, iiuc.


Probably also YES for Jefferson County and most of Southern Illinois. EPA divides the continental USA into 3 zones, and we're ORANGE (mid-risk), possibly could be at or near the EPA limit. We share this zone with Chicago.

The extreme southern tip of Illinois around Cairo is YELLOW (lower risk), unlikely to be near or exceed EPA standards. Most southern states share this advantage.


In summary most living structures and all water sources in Illinois should be tested for Radon. Ideally we should have totally Radon-free air and water.
Quote
Like
Share

Confirmation of reply: