Archive for July, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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Is There a Silent Killer in Your Water in Birmingham, Alabama?

alabama radon in water
Colorless, tasteless, odorless radon gas is not a man-made pollutant; it can actually be found naturally in the water in many homes in Birmingham, AL. After smoking, radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer in the United States. Ingested radon has also been implicated in cancers of the stomach, yet most people are unaware that every time they take a drink or brush their teeth, they may be exposing themselves to radon. There are 15 counties in Alabama that are classified as having the highest potential for radon gas to be present. Birmingham, in Jefferson County, is right in the middle of this area. 



The Source of Radon in Water



Radon forms from decaying uranium; it is the only naturally occurring radioactive gas. As ground water moves through the underground rock strata, it picks up radon. Radon has no taste, smell or color. It cannot be detected except by testing. Boiling water kills bacteria, but it does nothing to radon. Even municipal water is not always radon free. It is tested, but some municipal systems mix water with higher concentrations of radon with water that is less contaminated. The radon does not go away, but it is diluted below the federal safety standards. Dealing with radon in water is not a do-it-yourself project. Call in a specialist in waterborne radon mitigation from SWAT Environmental to test your house and to remove the radon if necessary. 



Birmingham’s Waterborne Radon



Radon is present in many homes in the Birmingham, AL region. If there is radon in water, then all your pipes are also bringing radon into your home. Every time you take a shower or wash dishes, you are exposing yourself to more radon in water. Inhaling radon as it escapes the water can cause lung cancer. In addition, drinking the water delivers radon directly to your stomach, potentially causing further health problems. Private wells often contain higher levels of radon contamination than public water sources.



Removing Radon in Water from Your Home



There are several ways that SWAT Environmental’s specialists can remove radon from your home’s water supply. Granulated carbon filters can be very effective at removing radon. The drawback is that the carbon gradually becomes radioactive. Sometimes the filter shelter will need to be shielded to prevent emission of gamma radiation, and some homeowners are not equipped to deal with this type of system.



Aeration is another option. It is somewhat more complicated, but it ensures that the radon is released harmlessly into the atmosphere with no accumulated radioactivity. Of course, aeration units need to be installed in front of other filters, or they may become radioactive. 



Waterborne radon is a serious threat — one that many people are unaware of. Radon in water contamination of houses was not recognized until 1985, when a nuclear plant worker set off alarms going in to the plant. Have your home checked, and you can rest easy.