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The silent killer: How to protect your home against radon gas

Unbeknownst to millions of families, the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers could be lurking inside their homes.

Exposure to radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas, claims an estimated 24,000 lives annually, according to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Many victims have never smoked a cigarette, according to the American Lung Association.

Radon, a Class-A carcinogen, is the second-leading lung cancer threat overall, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The odorless, tasteless and colorless gas can be found anywhere and can go undetected inside homes for years.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that one in 15 homes will test at or above the EPA’s action level of four picocuries per liter (pCi/L).

A picocurie is a measure of the rate of radon’s radioactive decay.

Testing the Water is Important for Household Well Owners

The National Ground Water Association recommends household well owners test their water at least annually for bacteria, nitrate, and any contaminants of local concern.

More frequent testing should be considered if:

  • There is a change in the taste, odor, or appearance of the well water, or if a problem occurs such as a broken well cap, inundation by floodwaters, or a new contamination source
  • The well has a history of bacterial contamination
  • The septic system has recently malfunctioned
  • Family members or house guests have recurrent incidents of gastrointestinal illness
  • An infant is living in the home
  • One wishes to monitor the efficiency and performance of home water treatment equipment.

Water Testing For Uranium Expanding in Juliette

Water Testing For Uranium Expanding in Juliette

New water testing is under way in the Juliette area, where radioactive uranium contamination has been found in some residential wells.

University of Georgia graduate students are testing additional homes’ wells for heavy metals, and the Georgia Department of Public Health is starting broader radioactivity sampling Thursday at wells known to contain uranium or radon.

Tests in the last few years have revealed unsafe levels of these elements in well water or high levels of radon in the air of some Juliette homes. Digesting uranium can cause kidney dysfunction, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Airborne radon, which can seep into homes through tiny cracks in the foundation, is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, the EPA says.

Juliette residents now rely on well water for drinking, although Monroe County is seeking a grant to help extend water lines to the area with the help of special purpose local option sales tax proceeds.

USGS Confirms the Presence of Potentially Harmful Levels of Radon in New England Groundwater

EMSL Analytical offers radon test kits and analysis to protect people from this second leading cause of lung cancer.

Cinnaminson, NJ, July 5th, 2012

Last month, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced that a new study has identified potentially harmful levels of naturally occurring arsenic, uranium, radium, radon and manganese in some bedrock groundwater that supplies drinking water wells in New England.

According to the USGS news release on the study, “The results highlight the importance of private well owners testing and potentially treating their water. While public water supplies are treated to ensure that water reaching the tap of households meets federal requirements, there are no such requirements for private supplies, which serve more than 2.3 million people in the region.”

USGS Report: Trace Elements Exceed Health Standards in 20 Percent of U.S. Water Wells

USGS Report: Trace Elements Exceed Health Standards in 20 Percent of U.S. Water Wells

Nearly one in five wells in the United States contains traces of at least one element that exceeds human health standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study of more than 5,000 public, private, and monitoring wells.

When multiple elements are found in the same water source at concentrations higher than national health standards — as is the case in one in ten U.S. wells — this poses an even greater health concern, because they can interact to become even more toxic than each element would be individually. Furthermore, trace elements exceed health standards in groundwater more often than do pesticides or volatile organic compounds, such as fuels and solvents.

Poolesville, Md. to Install Systems to Remove Radon, Uranium from Well Water

Poolesville, Md. to Install Systems to Remove Radon, Uranium from Well Water

Poolesville is planning to install a radon and uranium removal system on three of its 11 wells.

It is the first community water system in the state to make the installation, said Jay Apperson, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Wells 7 and 10 were taken out of service as a precaution in 2007 after uranium levels were found to be in danger of exceeding the maximum allowable contaminant level.

Since that time, well 7 has exceeded the level, but well 10 has not.

The Environmental Protection Agency sets the maximum allowable contaminant level for uranium at 30 micrograms per liter. It has not established a maximum level for radon.

Poolesville’s 2010-2011 water report found the level for well 7 to be 33.5 micrograms per liter. The level at wells 9 and 10 is 12.05 micrograms per liter, but the radon and uranium removal system is being used to avoid cross-contamination on those sites.

Radiation in Public Wells: What is Your Public Water Supplier Not Telling You?

Around the US. contamination is being discovered but what are our public suppliers not telling us?

Watch this video.

HOUSTON — A radioactive water well that is controlled by the City of Houston, and that serves residents of Jersey Village, is no longer being used, according to the communications director for Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

On Monday, a KHOU-TV investigation revealed Jersey Village water well #3 was one of 10 water wells identified by recent federal tests as having tested high for a particularly damaging form of radiation called alpha radiation.

As recently as two weeks ago, city officials had said that same well, and nine others across the city, remained online and “available for use,” even after being identified in a draft report by the United States Geological Survey as testing high for radioactive contaminants that are known to immediately increase risks for cancer.