N.C. Radon Program
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N.C. Radon Program. N.C. Radiation Protection Section Division of Environmental Health DENR. www.ncradon.org. Take in a Deep Breath!. Blow It Out!!!. Dust...Mold Spores...Viruses...Radon...Carbon Dioxide...Oxygen...Germs. Things you just Inhaled!. CAUTION.

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N.C. Radon Program

N.C. Radiation Protection Section

Division of Environmental Health

DENR

www.ncradon.org




Dust...Mold Spores...Viruses...Radon...Carbon Dioxide...Oxygen...Germs...

Things you

just Inhaled!


CAUTION Dioxide...Oxygen...Germs...


What is it?... Where does it come from?...How does it affect me?...How do I prevent it?...

Radon


Sources of Radiation in affect me?...How do I prevent it?...

the USA


Typical Annual Radiation Exposure ... affect me?...How do I prevent it?...

360 mrem/yr


Annual exposure from common activities
Annual Exposure from Common Activities affect me?...How do I prevent it?...

Smoking

RADON

5000 mrem

200 mrem

Medical

Nuclear Power

<0.05 mrem

53 mrem

Courtesy of David C Howell, Radiation Safety Officer-Wake Forest University-Baptist Medical Center



Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, affect me?...How do I prevent it?...inert,radioactive gas.


It is a naturally occurring gas that enters buildings, homes and the environment from the surrounding soil.

RADON GAS

RADIUM

It comes from the decay of Uranium which decays into Radium and then into Radon gas.

URANIUM


Radon is produced in most soil or rock. and the environment from the surrounding soil.

Therefore, ALL homes have some level of radon...

Radon is also found in the outdoor air.


Uranium Decay Chain and the environment from the surrounding soil.

Uranium Half-life: 5 billion yrs

Radium Half-life: 30 seconds

Radon-222:

Half-life: 3.8 days

Bismuth-214, polonium-218 & 214, and lead-214

Half-life: very short (less than 30 minutes)


These decay products account for major portion of radiation dose received in the lungs.

Bismuth-214, Polonium-218 & 214, and Lead-214

Half-life: very short (less than 30 minutes)


  • Alpha Radiation ( dose received in the lungs.)

    • Particle released when the nucleus kicks out 2 neutrons and 2 protons

    • Relatively massive

    • Relatively slow

    • Total charge of +2

a

Mass number changes by 4 and atomic number changes by 2


b dose received in the lungs.

  • Beta Radiation ()

    • Particle released when the nucleus changes a neutron into a proton and a beta particle

    • Relatively small mass

    • Relatively fast moving

    • Total charge of -1

P

N

Atomic Mass Number remains constant


g dose received in the lungs.

  • Gamma Radiation ()

    • Pure energy. Released from the nucleus when an alpha or a beta is emitted

    • No mass

    • Speed of light

    • No charge

NO CHANGE


Courtesy of dose received in the lungs.David C Howell, Radiation Safety Officer-Wake Forest University-Baptist Medical Center


What is the big deal dose received in the lungs.

with these alpha

particles?


Plastic chip from passive radon test (alpha track) dose received in the lungs.

Magnified only 100 times

3 months at EPA Action Level of 4 pCi/L

Alpha Particles Are Strong

Enough To

Pit Plastic!


What Happens When Radon Decay dose received in the lungs.

Products Are Inhaled?

  • Highly radioactive particles (RDP’s) stick to lung tissue, where they can irradiate sensitive cells.

  • Radiation can alter the cells, sometimes damaging the DNA of the lung cells, thus increasing the potential for cancer.

Image from: www.hipusa.com/eTools/webmd/A-Z_Encyclopedia/lungcancerbasics.htm


Danger of Radon dose received in the lungs.

Radon Exposure is

the Second Leading

Cause of

Lung Cancer!

Image from: //health.allrefer.com/health/cancer-lung-cancer-frontal-chest-x-ray.html


Lung Cancer Risks Due to Radon dose received in the lungs.

  • Depends largely on:

    • Quantity of Radon

    • Amount of time spent in home

    • Smoker vs Non-Smoker


Risks for Smokers... dose received in the lungs.

Source: “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon (Fourth Edition)” EPA, 5/2002


Risks for Non-Smokers... dose received in the lungs.

Source: “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon (Fourth Edition)” EPA, 5/2002


Radon Action Levels... dose received in the lungs.


Radon is a National Problem... dose received in the lungs.


Radon is a North Carolina Problem... dose received in the lungs.


Radon Prevalence in NC dose received in the lungs.

Mountains

Piedmont

Coastal

Zone 1: Highest Potential

(> 4 pCi/L)

Zone 2: Moderate Potential

(2-4 pCi/L)

Zone 3: Low Potential

(< 2 pCi/L)


Now that we know sources of Radon... dose received in the lungs.

How Does it get into my Home?


Radon entry depends on... dose received in the lungs.

Air movement through soil

Also through some building materials (ie. Concrete) that have the potential to contain and emit Radon.

Through well water

Cracks in foundations


Fight Radon dose received in the lungs.

Induced

Lung Cancer!

Encourage Radon Testing!


Everyone Should dose received in the lungs.

Test for Radon!

0.3 pCi/L

4.8 pCi/L

6.8 pCi/L

10.0 pCi/L

1.2 pCi/L

0.5 pCi/L

2.1 pCi/L

1.4 pCi/L


Where can I get a Radon Detection Kit? dose received in the lungs.

  • Hardware Stores

  • Internet


How much do Radon Detection Kits dose received in the lungs.

cost?

Average Costs:

Short-Term Kits: $10-$20

Long-Term Kits: $15-$25


Short-Term Testing Devices dose received in the lungs.


Continuous Monitoring Devices dose received in the lungs.


My Results are above 4 pCi/L... dose received in the lungs.

What do I do now?

Repeat the test in the same location.(If possible repeat with a Long-Term Test)

If the second test is above 4 pCi/L…

Call a certified Radon Mitigator


What is Radon Mitigation? dose received in the lungs.

Method of removing Radon from the home via ventilation through a PVC pipe and out above the roof.


What Does dose received in the lungs.

A Mitigation

System Do?


Close-up of fan apparatus dose received in the lungs.


What it Looks Like dose received in the lungs.

Underneath It All...


Average Costs of Mitigation dose received in the lungs.

Home Under Construction:

Less than $500


Average Costs of Mitigation dose received in the lungs.

Existing Home:

$500 - $2000


What is a Certified Radon dose received in the lungs.

Mitigator/ Measurement Professional?

Measurement and mitigation contractors certified by NEHA or NRSB have been trained and carry ID cards.


Benefits of Having a Home Mitigated? dose received in the lungs.

  • Decrease the amount of Radon in the home/building

  • Improved Air Quality

    • Decreased moisture

    • Decreased mold and other moisture irritants


Thank you for your attention
Thank you for your attention dose received in the lungs.

Any Questions?


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