Short-term radon testing

radon testing

Introduction:

Radon is an element known as a silent killer. It is one of the highly reactive noble gases that is very difficult to detect so radon testing is performed to confirm its presence. It is colorless, odorless as well as tasteless which pretty much justifies its title of being a silent killer.

Hazards:

Although it is naturally present in the air, soils and water bodies yet its naturally occurring fixation is so minute that it causes no harm. However at times due to factors such as pollution and careless disposal of radioactive waste material, its concentration increases. Long-term exposure to the high amount of radon causes lung cancer along with other irreversible damage to the body.

Sources:

The most commonly listed sources of radon include the radioactive decay of other radioactive elements such as Uranium and Radium. The disintegration of radon itself produces radon daughter elements. Although radon is a naturally occurring element and cannot be produced commercially, yet scientists proclaim the poor handling of the radioactive matter as a cause of radon production.

Tests:

There are two main types of radon testing based on the time required by the tests to produce the results, namely short-term tests and long-term tests.

Short-term radon testing

One of the Radon Testing methods is short-term radon testing. As the name indicates this procedure requires less time as compared to the other type of tests. These tests only take somewhere between 2 hours to a week to indicate the radon level. I drawback of using short-term radon tests is that the place where the best is being performed needs to be evacuated till the test results come back. Due to this limitation, the experts suggest using this method of radon testing while constructing a building or buying or renting a place.

There are two ways short-term tests can be performed. The first way is automated and uses a digital device which is installed at the place of the house with the lowest pressure as it is the most prone to radon poisoning. The digital device indicates the radon level on the screen. The use of this device is very convenient and easy.

The second method is a little old. It involves the use of a device called the GAC device. GAC is the abbreviation of granular activated carbon device. The device comes in a plastic packaging that can be hung in the house. Inside the plastic case, there is a strip of activated carbon. This strip is charged by default. It attracts the radon particles towards itself and they attach to the carbon strip. The level of radon attached to the strip indicates the severity of the problem. But the level of the strip cannot be read by a layman. The strip needs to be carefully removed from the plastic case and sent to a laboratory to be tested. The removal of the activated carbon strip is crucial and dangerous at the same time. If removed carelessly it leads to a strong threat of radon exposure.