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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Ludlow, Maine - Aroostook County, near Houlton
    Posts
    18

    Default Agricutural Activities Contributing To High Radon????

    I am interested in contributing causes of temporarily high radon readings. I know about the causes that we commonly read about such as changes in air pressure. What I'm wondering here is - can nearby chemical fertilizer, or soil dust influence radon concentrations inside a building? This is potato country. I recently did a 4 day duplicate test in a home that was surrounded by huge potato fields. It was dry weather, little wind. At the time, tractors were going back and forth plowing the fields. The test(s) results were unusually high, with relative % difference of 0. I have recommended another test during hearing season.
    I'm just wondering. ...

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Agricutural Activities Contributing To High Radon????

    Hello Miss Campbell –

    The answer to your question is “No.”

    I hope that helps.

    For your reading enjoyment: Radon: Truth vs. myth

    Cheers!

    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    www.forensic-applications.com

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Agricutural Activities Contributing To High Radon????

    Short answer - NO. Radon levels vary from hour to hour, day to day, month to month, and season to season.

    Caoimhín poo-poos Radon as a health threat because there is no verifiable scientific evidence that it actually causes any health problems. I tell clients that in all truth, the Radon health concerns are theoretical. So far no one has come up with a way to breed genetically pure cancer free human subjects, expose them to various Radon concentrations for various times and then keep them in a pure Radon free lab environment for 3 to 30 years to see if they develop cancer.

    Testing isn't expensive and mitigation is usually reasonable if necessary. The mitigation contractors in my area charge around $800 for a simple basement sub-slab vacuum system installation. It can be a lot higher in other parts of the country. Personally, I don't know of any Radon test or mitigation company working in Virginia raking in millions of dollars.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  4. #4

    Default Re: Agricutural Activities Contributing To High Radon????

    Hello Ms. Campbell –

    Just an academic point of clarification on the post by Mr. Brooks’ comment where he says “…there is no verifiable scientific evidence that it actually causes any health problems.”

    Point in fact is that we know that there is no verifiable scientific evidence that radon causes any health problems at concentrations seen in residences.

    Like virtually all human insults, “the dose makes the poison.” In the case of radon, we know there is a complex “dose v. risk” relationship wherein at the doses typically seen in residences there is an inverse dose-response relationship (as dose goes up, risk goes down); then, at increasing doses, (such as those seen in mines), we see that risk of lung cancer increases in a non-linear fashion with increasing dose. Then, strangely, as doses become massive, the risk precipitously drops to the same risk as that seen in residences (almost nil).

    The complex dose/response relationship creates a risk-modeling problem for epidemiologists, because it makes the communication of risk very difficult.

    That’s all. Toxicology is 10 tenths objective, and risk communication is 10% reality and 90% emotive. Radon is not harmless, however radon, as typically seen in residences, is not dangerous – radon seen in mines is dangerous. It is for this reason the U.S. Department of Energy ("Radon- Radon Research Program, FY 1989, DOE/ER-448P., March 1990) says:

    Currently there is very little information about...the health effects associated with exposures to radon at levels believed to be commonly encountered by the public. The only human data available for predicting the risks to the public are studies examining the health effects of exposure to radon and its progeny in underground miners. This information would be appropriate for predicting the risks to the public if everyone was a miner, everyone lived in mines, and a large fraction of the general population smoked cigarettes.

    I have no doubt that is what Mr. Brooks was alluding to.

    And so it begs the question: We also know that benzene is extremely carcinogenic (at sufficiently elevated concentrations not seen in houses) and we know that ALL houses have benzene… so why aren’t we running around testing for benzene and placing “benzene reduction systems” in residences?

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post is for information only and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


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