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Archive for Health

The Hardest Part of Running a Radon Business

The hardest part of my day.

A few days ago I went to a home in Appleton to do an estimate for a Radon system. This is part of my duties while running the business. After speaking with the owner for a while he let me know the reason I was there. His wife was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, which had spread to her brain. They had never heard of Radon gas. After they found out about her diagnosis they tested their home, and it came in elevated. Did Radon cause her lung cancer? We don’t know. We do know she never smoked and never worked in an environment where she would have been exposed to harmful items. I do know that having elevated radon levels in the home did not help and that they had lived there for 17 years.

We are installing a radon system for them this week. I could not charge them for the system knowing what they were going to be going through. It’s sad when I run into this situation, which is about once a month. Maybe this could have been prevented?  If you have lung cancer, there is another organization that can help. It is called Cansar. Their website is www.carsar.org. Take a look, donate if you can. Help us get the message out about Radon induced Lung Cancer.

We don’t know conclusively that Radon caused her lung cancer. But for the little it costs to test your home for Radon, why take the chance? In only a few short days a test can be conducted. If your levels come in low, you are fine. If they come in high, a simple radon system can be installed for around $1,000. Then you can have the peace of mind knowing your home is safe when it comes to Radon gas.

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Does Radon Cause Leukemia?

Leukemia and Radon

Based on research done by Gary G Schwartz and Marilyn G Klug and published by Future Medicine there is a strong possibility that exposure to radon increases the risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Check out their full paper on their research and their findings here.

Exposure to radon over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer, in fact after cigarette smoking radon exposure is the most common cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that everyone breathes in on a daily basis. The health problems happen when the levels of radon we breathe in are at too high. This happens through cracks in floors or walls that allows radon to be released indoors (well insulated/tightly sealed homes or buildings) causing the radon levels to go up or your home was built on ground that has uranium, thorium, and radium in it.

In April of 2016, the American Cancer Society stated,”A new report from American Cancer Society researchers finds a statistically-significant, positive association between high levels of residential radon and the risk of hematologic cancer (lymphoma, myeloma, and leukemia) in women. “The overall lifetime risk of hematological cancers in the United States is about 2%, so even a 60% relative increase would still mean a relatively small absolute risk,” said Dr. Teras. “Nonetheless, radon is already associated with lung cancer, and if other studies confirm the link to blood cancers, we think it would warrant strengthened public health efforts to mitigate residential radon risks.” For more on that article click here.

With radon being a colorless, odorless gas, it is imperative that your home is tested to ensure safe levels of radon. You can check the risk of radon in your location by checking various maps like the one here –

Does-Radon-Cause-Leukemia

And this close up one of the Midwest –

Does-Radon-Cause-Leukemia

At Radon Specialists of Wisconsin, we are here to help you protect your family and your loved ones. Our contract guarantees to lower your Radon level to 1.9 pCi/L or below in most cases or 3.9 pCi/L or below on some homes, still the EPA recommended level. However, our goal with each system is to get you as close to outside air levels as possible, which is usually 0.4 to 1.0 pCi/L. We proudly serve Appleton, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison and the surrounding areas with radon testing and radon removal. Call us today for a free radon test for homeowners.

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5 Things You Should Know About Radon

5 things you should know about Radon

free radon test

1. It’s the leading cause of Lung Cancer in nonsmokers.

On average Radon is the result of 21,000 deaths each year.

2. It can be found almost everywhere in Wisconsin.

Radon is found in 5-10% of the homes in Wisconsin above the US EPA guideline of 4 pCi/L.

3. Radon is almost undetectable.

Radon is Tasteless, Odorless and Colorless.

4. Free Radon Test is the only way to detect Radon in homes.

Click Here for More information on Radon Tests

5. Almost half of Wisconsin homes have Radon levels above the recommended safe level

The same glaciers that formed the great lakes are likely to be the reason for radon levels being so high. The Glacial Deposits left in most of the state is the main source for Radon.

CALL FOR YOUR FREE RADON TEST TODAY!

Milwaukee Area – 888-826-2983
Madison & NE WI Area – 888-919-1817

www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/radon/index.htm
www.radonisreal.org
wi-dhs.maps.arcgis.com
wi-radon.info

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Know the signs of lung cancer

Radon is the second largest cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. behind smoking, and the largest among non-smokers.  Long-term exposure to elevated radon levels puts you at risk for lung cancer, so it’s extremely important to have your home tested.  It is also important – especially for non-smokers – to know the warning signs for lung cancer if one has lived in a home for a long period of time without knowing the radon levels.  Here are some major things to watch out for:

  • A stubborn cough that won’t subside – especially lasting eight weeks or more.
  • Chest pain, especially when it lingers and/or worsens with deep breathing or coughing.
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath or other breathing problems.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Feeling weak or tired.
  • Recurring infections, especially in airways
  • Irregular breast growth in men.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Pain or fatigue in hands and fingers.
  • Aches and pains in the shoulder, inner arm, hands and rib cage area.
  • Jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes).
  • Depression or mood changes.

While these signs, on their own, may have other causes or explanations, it is a good thing to monitor your health if you believe you may have been exposed to radon for an extended period of time.  Speak with your physician if you have questions or believe you may be exhibiting warnings signs for lung cancer.

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Whats a Free Test Worth?

We have a free test program for home owners to test their home for their own benefit or if they are selling.  And what is that worth?

When someone is selling their home, they normally are not going to call up a Radon company and ask to have a test. If they have never tested their home, then they have no knowledge of what their levels are, so nothing to disclose. It is the buyers responsibility to ask for a Test.

Sellers may ask what the motivation is when they find out a “Free” Radon test is being conducted on the home they are selling. So, take a look at the picture of where this Radon monitor is placed, for a Free test on a realty transaction. The home inspector sent it to me to ask if this was proper. The testing protocols require a test to be at least 12 inches from any wall to avoid what is called the “plate out” affect which could bias a test on the high side. Also, testers should not be in the utility area, but rather livable space or potential livable space, which would never be in the utility area.

What is this test worth?
Wrong Test Location

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Correct Location to Test for Radon

Not sure what location in your home should be best to test for radon? Watch this video below to learn why it’s very important to test your home in the correct spot.

I have some other good videos out there also on our website. Look under the video drop down menu on the home page. When it comes to testing for Radon you need to get picky. If a test is placed in the wrong area or level of the home you might be basing a mitigation decision on wrong information. Which, means a financial decision could be based on wrong information. So, to me, placing the test in the right location, the right time is the most important part of the whole process.

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Is You’re System Working

From time to time I will get calls from customers asking if there is anything they should do regarding their Radon system. The good news about Radon systems is that if they are running and quiet, there is not much to really do for maintenance. But you still need to make sure the system is working properly.

What should be done on a semi-annual basis though is to conduct a home Radon test, just to make sure Radon levels have not crept back up somehow. Most of the time levels will still be low, but there have been rare occasions when we had to go back and address an issue that a customer was not aware of to bring levels back down. Their system was working but, a crack developed in the basement slab or a gap opened up at the cold joint. One home owner had taken his sump pump pit lid off and forgot to put it back on the pit and re-seal it.

So, remember to do a Radon test every couple of years to make sure your Radon system is doing it’s job. Chances are the test will come back low. If it doesn’t then give us a call, whether it is our system or not we can take care of it.

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Proper Test Placement

Every once in awhile I get a call regarding proper test placement. I do have protocols on the web site explaining the protocols. I had forgotten that we did a few experiments earlier this year with test placements. One in Particular really showed why it is so important to place the test properly. A Radon test needs to be a minimum of 20 inches above the floor, as part of the test set up. There are other items to adhere to also, but I just want to cover the height with this post. I am going to paste a test printout that shows results as the monitor sat on a stool, which was about 24 inches above the floor, and then was moved and placed onto a carpeted floor. Now in this test they would have probably still test high. But what if they were in the 1-3 Pico curie range? Having the test on the floor would have greatly skewed the results. When it comes to Radon testing, make 100% sure that the test is being placed properly.

Click on the link below to open the printout of the test.

Test on Floor

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Radon System Display

Just to let everyone know we have a working Radon System Display of an inside and outside Radon system. We built this when we opened our office/shop in 2005. You can also see video clips of system installs under our media gallery.

I was told that this might be the first working Radon system display every built. We have shared what we did with other mitigators in other parts of the country so they could do something similar.

We are always working to be the leading Radon company.

Radon System Display

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The Radon T-Shirt That’s Traveled the World

Radon Specialists of Wisconsin.

Radon Specialists of Wisconsin with Radon T-Shirt

This Radon T- Shirt has traveled the world. It has been part of an awareness and fund raising campaign. We are proud to display it at our office and will be passing it on to the next recipient. There is very little funding for Radon awareness. So, we hope this Radon T-Shirt goes on a long journey.

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