How to Measure Radon
Radon is a type of a radioactive gas which is naturally produced when uranium is broken down in the ground. It is not easily detectable since it is impossible to see, taste or even smells it. Radon is normally diluted so it might as well be of little concern but it is always advisable to measure it. Some people might wonder, why do it?
Why you should Measure Radon in Your Home
This is how serious it can get. I bet you do not want to pave your way to an early death when you know that there is something that you can do about it. You can measure radon using radon testing kits and detectors.
How to measure radon using radon detectors
Things that you should do when carrying out the test
1. Close all the windows and doors apart from the normal entry and the main exit.
2. Switch off fans or any other machine that normally allows in air from outside. You can, however, use small exhaust fans which only operate for a short time.You should put the detector in a place that it will not be disturbed. This could be three feet away from doors and windows that are facing the outside, 20 inches – 6 feet above your floor and a distance of four inches from any other object whatsoever. There are also places that you should avoid placing your radon detector.
Places that you should not place your radon detector
It is also very possible for places like floors, wall cracks, and crawl spaces to cause a high reading that is false, so it is advisable to avoid them.When the test has been completed, place the detector in a package, and this should be accompanied by other paperwork. You can then send it to a radon measurement laboratory after you have sealed it. You should expect the results as soon as after ten days, but it can take two weeks at most.Measuring radon in your home is quite easy, and it is something that can be done by anyone. You only have to be careful to avoid getting false results.
Radon Measurement Methods: Which One Is Right For You?
Radon is a gas that’s produced naturally as the result of decaying radium. However, it’s also found in small amounts in the atmosphere and water. The presence of radon isn’t necessarily dangerous, but it becomes a problem when it accumulates in enclosed spaces at high concentrations. Radon exposure has been said to cause lung cancer and other diseases, so it’s essential to know if your home or workplace poses a risk. Testing for radon is relatively simple, and there are several different methods you can use to measure levels. Let’s look at common ways of measuring radon levels to know which one is right for you.
Liquid Scintillation Counting
Liquid scintillation counting measures radon in air samples by detecting alpha particles emitted by decaying radon. The sample is placed in a liquid scintillation vial containing a scintillator and a radioactive isotope. The radon decays, producing alpha particles captured by the scintillator, which causes the vial to glow. The brightness of the glow is measured and converted into a reading. This method helps trap samples of air so they can be analyzed later.
If you need to measure radon levels in a particular part of your home but don’t want to move a test kit from place to place, you may want to use a continuous radon monitor instead. A continuous monitor is a device connected to the wall near the area where you want to measure radon levels. These devices sample the air in a particular location and then measure the radon levels using several methods. A disadvantage of continuous radon monitors is that one has to be installed on each wall where you want to measure, which can be costly.
Proton Ion Exposure
The sample is exposed to radioactive isotopes that cause charged particles to form. It’s similar to electrostatic precipitation but uses low-energy protons instead of electrons. The charged particles on the collector are then counted. This method helps collect samples of air over a long period. Proton ion exposure is a common method for measuring indoor radon levels. It requires a long-term collection device and a charged collector. This method is easy to perform but isn’t as accurate as other methods.
Soil-based measurement is a method of measuring radon in soil samples by exposing them to radioactive isotopes. It’s similar to soil gas analysis but uses a longer-lived radioactive isotope. The sample is then removed and analyzed for the decay products of the radioactive isotope. This method is useful for sample areas that are difficult to access, such as basement floors. Soil-based measurement is a common method for measuring soil radon levels.
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