Ventilation is often the most effective remedy for minimizing excessive radon levels in a home or office building. However, radon levels fluctuate over time and can vary significantly throughout the day. Being able to accurately control the amount of ventilation proportional to the radon levels will improve indoor air quality while optimizing energy efficiency.
Professional radon mitigators can use a radon sensor, such as the ROBIN, that measures the radon in air and converts the concentration to a proportional output signal. The ROBIN sensor can be connected to a fan controller, PLC, or any other device suitable for analog input signals.
Radon is a colorless and odorless natural radioactive gas that comes from the ground and is present everywhere on the surface of the earth. It is created from the chain of radioactive decay of uranium. Because it is a gas it rises to the surface when it forms.
Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer in people who do not smoke and the #2 cause of lung cancer worldwide. According to the American Cancer Society, “Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.”
Ventilation and reducing radon exposure
In the outdoors, radon gas becomes diluted and presents no health risk. This is not the case indoors - where radon seeps into homes and buildings though poorly ventilated interiors, such as foundation cracks, sump pumps, poorly sealed cable ducts, etc. In locations where ventilation or air renewal is insufficient, radon becomes highly concentrated and presents a significant risk of causing lung cancer. Therefore, basements, crawl spaces, and first floors are the most susceptible to high radon concentrations.
Higher radon levels can occur during the colder winter months when buildings and homes keep windows and doors closed or sealed to keep warm and conserve energy. Recent scientific research reveals that newer, energy efficient, homes that are designed to prevent the escape of air conditioning in the summer and heat during the winter can have high radon levels year-round.
Reducing radon levels
Testing for radon is the first step to determining if a home or building has safe radon levels. Radon tests are easy to conduct and affordable. If radon levels come back at the actionable level, then improving the efficiency of indoor air ventilation can be performed by a professional radon mitigator.
Radon mitigation is not a DIY project. It is a serious and involved endeavor. There are many techniques to properly ventilate and mitigate a home or building for radon. Mitigation professionals have the certifications, training, and special equipment to determine where the radon is seeping into the structure and how to safely remediate it. It can be as simple as sealing cracks in floors and walls and increasing indoor ventilation to conducting positive indoor pressurization and/or subfloor depressurization or ventilation.
To find a certified radon mitigator in your state, visit the NRPP website and enter your zip code. For Canada, please visit the C-NRPP website to search by postal code.
ROBIN used as a radon sensor to measure variations in radon levels and control ventilation systems
ROBIN is used by professionals during radon mitigation and indoor ventilation projects. Once connected to a 10-30V power supply, the Robin delivers a 1-10V output signal proportional to the radon levels that it measures.
The measurement range can be specified; however the standard sensor range is either 0-400 Bq/m³ or 0-4000 Bq/m³. ROBIN sensor has high immunity to electromagnetic interference and withstands the interference from thyristor controllers. The radon sensor can be installed in any direction and placed in ventilation ducts, air handling units or just stationary in a room. It’s independent of the air flow condition and will measure correct in both laminar and turbulent airflow.
The ROBIN sensor is precise and sensitive to variations in radon levels and is one of the most effective sensors on the market. It is now possible to precisely modulate the power of the ventilation according to measured radon levels.
Radonova is the laboratory of choice for numerous government radon surveys, as well as other public, and private sector large-scale measurement contracts around the world. A truly global laboratory, Radonova is active in over 50 countries and has performed millions of radon measurements.