Protect Yourself and Your Family From Radon
Radon is a noxious radioactive gas and it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. It is odourless, tasteless, and colourless; it is heavier than air and accumulates in basements. If you smoke and live in a house with high radon levels, you increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
How Can Radon Enter a Building Structure?
Radon forms naturally when uranium, thorium, or radium which are radioactive metals break down in soil, rocks, and groundwater. People are exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes through gaps and cracks in buildings and homes. Radon gas moves up through the soil and it can be drawn into your home through air pressure differences. Inside your home, the air pressure is usually lower than the pressure in the soil around the foundations and basement floor slab.
If your house doesn’t have an air barrier, radon gas can enter through all types of openings:
- Exterior walls.
- Wall joints.
- Support beams.
- Cracks in concrete slabs.
- Loose fitting pipe penetrations.
- Open tops of block walls.
- Well water.
- Cracks in concrete slabs.
- Building materials, such as concrete, brick, rock.
- Open tops of block walls etc.
What are The Health Risks?
Radon is classified as a class-one carcinogen which is a proven cancer-causing agent. When radon gas is inhaled, the radioactive decay products of radon gas can attach themselves to lung tissue. Radon has a 3.8 day half-life and it is likely that when a radon atom is inhaled it will be exhaled again before it decays. As the radon concentrations increase the quantity of radon gas that has the potential to decay while still inside your lungs increases, resulting in a greater health risk. Radon is believed to be associated with approximately 16% of lung cancer deaths worldwide.
Emitted during the decay process the alpha radiation presents the most significant risk to humans. The energy released by alpha particles can cause permanent damage to DNA tissue in the lungs and most of this damage can prevent further cell division and the cell will die.Especially small children are at risk.
Add Spray Foam Insulation to Your House to Keep Radon Away
With effective radon remediation you can protect your family from potentially life-threatening disease. Now it is becoming common knowledge that spray foam is the superior choice for insulation. And for those considering a radon mitigation system, it may be possible to spray foam a basement and potentially avoid an expensive and complicated mitigation system if the spray foam reduces the radon prevention to acceptable levels. Spray foam creates a continuous air barrier that acts as the first line of defense against radon, it seals gaps and cracks in the walls of your basement, preventing radon from getting in. Also Spray foam acts as a vapor barrier that protects the foundation, it is a building’s secret weapon for protection.
ECO Spray Insulation has installed spray foam insulation in several houses, only to hear back from homeowners weeks later with a report that radon levels in their basement have dramatically decreased. So spray foam does much more than moderate your house’s temperature, it could help protect the health of your family.
Here are some recommendations from Health Canada for reduced radon infiltration in basements:
- Install a membrane or sealing product under the floor slab
- Seal the joint between the floor slab and the foundation wall
- Seal all openings in the foundation wall and floor slab
- Seal all posts and load-bearing walls to membrane and the floor slab
- Install floor drains that prevent gas infiltration
- Install sealed lid on sumps