Radon Gas. What is it and how does it affect me?
"There is no debate about radon being a lung carcinogen in humans. All major national and international organizations that have examined the health risks of radon agree that it is a lung carcinogen. The scientific community continues to conduct research to refine our understanding of the precise number of deaths attributable to radon. EPA and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have independently placed that number at about 15,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States." -The Environmental Protection Agency-
Just this statement alone creates enough concern to take the health issues associated with radon very seriously. Most of us have no idea what radon is and how it effects us, but one thing is for certain. Indoor openings to your home permit accumulated gases from under your home to easily access your living area. The patented design and outside location of the Pitmaster can help contribute in the reduction of radon entry into your home.
What is Radon Gas?
"Radon is produced from the radioactive decay of uranium that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. Outside air contains very low levels of radon, but indoors the gas builds up to higher concentrations. Although radon is chemically inert and electrically uncharged, it also is radioactive, which means that radon atoms in the air can spontaneously decay, or change to other atoms. When the resulting atoms are formed, they are electrically charged and can attach themselves to tiny dust particles in the air. The radiation given off by inhaled particles cannot travel far enough to reach cells in organs other than the lung, so it is likely that lung cancer is the only significant health hazard posed by radon. Many studies have linked the high incidence of lung cancer in underground miners with radon exposure, leading to concerns that exposure to the gas in homes could cause cancer. Most homes have far less radon than underground mines, but some do contain comparable amounts." -National Academy of Science-
How does Radon gas enter your home?
Radon gas naturally moves to areas of less density. Therefore one of the first places radon will accumulate is in the rock bed underlying a basement slab. From this point it will seek the areas of least resistance, such as cracks in the foundation, seams, and drainage tiles, working its way to the surface. An indoor sump pit allows radon a direct entry to your home with little or no resistance. If a negative pressure exists in your home, it can actually draw the gases into the living area much like the draw from a chimney as the hot air rises, causing a suction of oxygen from within the home. By installing a Pitmaster outside your home, you not only keep accumulated underground rain water from entering your basement, you also eliminate a potential entry point for radon gas. You can test the radon level in your home with a simple test kit.
The Pitmaster is not a total solution to Radon, but used in conjunction with other radon mitigation methods, it can be an effective step in dealing with radon accumulation in your home. There are a number of web sites that get into much greater detail should you have more questions regarding radon and the health issues it creates. We have put together a list of links to help answer many of those questions.
For More Information Concerning Radon
How does a conventional sump pump work?
The basic design and function of an interior sump pump brings the moisture from the exterior and floor drainage tile and routes it directly into the pit inside your basement. Once the water reaches a certain level, its pumped to a drainage area outside. This standing water inside the basement creates a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Radon gas accumulates in the gravel under the flooring and the drain tile creates a direct entry into your home.