Is Fracking Resulting in Elevated Radon Risks for Building Occupants?
EMSL Analytical offers testing services and test kits to identify radon hazards and protect building occupants’ health.
Cinnaminson, NJ, May 8th, 2015
Last month, a number of media outlets published news reports about a new study that suggests that fracking for oil and natural gas might also cause increased levels of radon in homes and buildings in some areas.
The study was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The authors analyzed more than 800,000 radon measurements from indoor environments in Pennsylvania. The measurements were collected from 1989 through 2013 and researchers found that radon levels began to rise around 2004 as fracking become more common in the state. In addition, radon levels were found to be over 20% higher in buildings that utilized well water as compared to municipal water sources.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, “Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 21,000 Americans each year. In fact, the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.”
The study’s authors acknowledged that there could be other causes for the elevated radon levels, such as more energy efficient homes and buildings that allow radon levels to build up. “Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and scientists are unclear of a direct correlation between fracking and higher radon levels,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Regardless of the cause, you cannot see, smell or taste radon, and if it is present indoors at high levels it can be a health hazard over time. The only way to determine if radon is in a home, school or building is to have it tested.”
EMSL offers a Radon Gas Test Kit that can be obtained at www.EMSLTestKits.com and has also sponsored an educational video about radon that can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/6yOMtXafNwM
To learn more about testing for radon or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.RadonTestingLab.com or www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, industrial hygiene, food and materials testing services and products to government agencies, industry professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.