Midwest Radon Services is certified and licensed to perform radon mitigation for commercial properties, multi-family dwellings including condominiums, townhouses, and apartment buildings. We are also certified and licensed to perform radon mitigation for public and private schools, universities, retail facilities, restaurants, fitness, hospitality, medical, and office buildings in the State of Illinois.
While concern over hazardous radon gas may be universal, we understand that radon gas management plans may differ dramatically from client to client. That is why we have developed a systematic planning process that can be customized to each client's unique situation. Radon management is not a once and done proposition. In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment, it is necessary to have an ongoing plan, ideally developed by licensed experts like Midwest Radon Services.
We work with commercial property owners and managers to develop a radon gas management program designed to protect against liability risk, preserve property value, and above all, protect the public from the health risks associated with radon gas. Our programs are easily incorporated in to existing building maintenance procedures and should be included in building maintenance tracking systems.
Our radon management planning starts with measuring radon gas. Working in partnership with a commercially licensed radon testing professional, buildings are tested and maybe retested to determine current radon levels. Depending on the size of the complex or campus, radon measurements could take several weeks or months to gather. Samples are next turned over to a certified laboratory where concentrations can be analyzed and final results compiled into a comprehensive report.
If tests indicate unsafe radon gas level, we develop a comprehensive mitigation plan, suggest practical mitigation timelines, and present a detailed mitigation cost proposal. If mitigation is not required, recommendations are issued for on-going testing to monitor radon gas levels.
Schools & Classrooms
Chances are you've already heard of radon - a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.
But what you might not have heard is that high levels have been found in a number of schools across the country. Therefore, it is important that students, teachers, and parents be aware that a potential problem could exist in their school. A nationwide survey of radon levels in schools estimates that nearly one in five has at least one schoolroom with a short-term radon level above the action level of 4 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter) - the level at which EPA recommends that schools take action to reduce the level. EPA estimates that more than seventy thousand (70,000) schoolrooms in use today have high short-term radon levels.
The only way to determine if a problem exists is to test for it. Having your school tested for radon is something you may want to discuss with your school officials. Because as real as the threat of radon is, the good news is that the problem can be solved.
"EPA's national survey of schools produced some alarming results about concentrations in our children's classrooms. Public awareness must be raised about the hazards of radon to hasten efforts to reduce the danger. All schools must be tested to determine if there is a problem, and schools must inform parents of the results. We cannot ignore this problem."
Kathryn Whitfill, National PTA President.
The EPA ranks indoor radon among the most serious environmental health problems facing us today. After smoking, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States causing an estimated fourteen thousand (14,000) lung cancer deaths a year.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that seeps into buildings from the surrounding soil. In some cases, well water may be a source of radon.
You can't see, taste, or smell radon. In fact, the only way to discover if high levels of radon are present is through testing.
"All students have the right to expect a safe and healthy environment. Teachers and other school employees should encourage their schools to conduct radon tests and undertake all necessary corrective actions. The health of our children demands no less."
- Keith Geiger, NEA President.
Radon Gas Decays Into Radioactive Particles That Can Get Trapped in Your Lungs When You Breathe.
As these particles break down, they release small bursts of energy. This can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of your lifetime. An individual's risk of getting lung cancer from radon depends mostly on three factors: the level of radon, the duration of exposure, and their smoking habits.
EPA recommends that all schools nationwide be tested for radon. To date, approximately twenty percent (20%) of the schools nationwide have done some testing. Some states have tested all their public schools.
How are schools tested for radon?
Testing for radon is simple and relatively inexpensive. EPA has published guidance that is available free to schools throughout the country. Call your State Radon Office for more information.
The basic elements of testing are:
Test all frequently used rooms on and below the ground level;
Conduct tests in the cooler months of the year; and,
Follow the testing strategy below.
School Testing Strategy
Take Short-term tests.
Take a second short-term test in rooms where the initial level is 4 pCi/L or higher.
Take a long-term test in these rooms for a better understanding of the school-year average radon level.
The average of the initial and short-term follow-up test is 4 pCi/L or greater or the result of the long-term test is 4 pCi/L or greater.
What Happens if Your School Fails the Test?
Fortunately, even if your school does fail the radon test, the problem can be corrected. Proven techniques are available that will lower radon levels and lower risks of lung cancer from radon exposure.
Every home should also take this test.
School isn't the only place that students and teachers can be exposed to radon.
Since children spend more time at home, high radon levels there can pose a much greater threat to their health.
Once again, testing is simple and inexpensive. After all, radon is one health problem nobody should have to live with - at home or at school.
Day Care Centers
Under a new law that took effect Jan. 1, 2013, licensed day care centers and day care homes are now required to test for the radioactive gas, and beginning Jan. 1, 2014, day care centers will need to show proof the facility has been tested for radon within the last three years as part of the initial application or license renewal process.
“Parents want to know their children in day care are as safe as possible throughout the day,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “This new law will give them information about radon levels in the day care, and hopefully will inspire them to also test their own homes if they haven’t already done so.”
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that comes from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., and the leading cause among non-smokers. It’s estimated that nearly 1,200 radon-related lung cancer deaths occur each year in Illinois.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has established 4.0 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) as the action level for radon.
Under the law, which was signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on Aug. 17, 2012, non-residential day care centers are required to hire an IEMA-licensed radon measurement professional to test the facility. Home day care centers may purchase a home test kit and conduct the test themselves or hire a licensed contractor to perform the test.
Day care facilities are required to post the most current radon measurement results next to the licenses issued by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and provide copies of the report to parents or guardians upon request.
The law does not require day care facilities to reduce radon levels if they exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L. IEMA recommends radon reduction actions be taken if radon levels are above 4.0 pCi/L and licenses contractors who install radon mitigation systems.
Besides Radon, there are other gases and contaminants that can be released from the soil that can also pose a danger. Whether it’s radon, methane, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX), trichloroethylene, or other contaminants, Midwest Radon Services is here to help. Please contact us at (708) 680 - 6080 or Click Here for a free estimate.
BTEX is an acronym that stands for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes. These compounds are some of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in petroleum derivatives such as petrol (gasoline). Toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes have harmful effects on the central nervous system.
BTEX compounds are notorious due to the contamination of soil and groundwater with these compounds. Contamination typically occurs near petroleum and natural gas production sites, petrol stations, and other areas with underground storage tanks (USTs) or above-ground storage tanks (ASTs), containing gasoline or other petroleum-related products.
The amount of 'Total BTEX', the sum of the concentrations of each of the constituents of BTEX, is sometimes used to aid in assessing the relative risk or seriousness at contaminated locations and the need of remediation of such sites. Naphthalene may also be included in Total BTEX analysis yielding results referred to as BTEXN. In the same way, styrene is sometimes added, making it BTEXS.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chlorinated hydrocarbon commonly used as an industrial solvent. It is a clear non-flammable liquid with a sweet smell. It should not be confused with the similar 1,1,1-trichloroethane, which is commonly known as chlorothene.
It has also been used as a dry cleaning solvent, although replaced in the 1950s by tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene), except for spot cleaning where it was used until the year 2000.
Perhaps the greatest use of TCE has been as a degreaser for metal parts. The demand for TCE as a degreaser began to decline in the 1950s in favor of the less toxic 1,1,1-trichloroethane. However, 1,1,1-trichloroethane production has been phased out in most of the world under the terms of the Montreal Protocol, and as a result trichloroethylene has experienced some resurgence in use as a degreaser.
Midwest Radon Services will employ a TACO methodology when addressing your soil mitigation needs. We are experts in both residential and commercial mitigation applications. If you want to read more about TACO, please Click Here. Please contact us at (708) 680 - 6080 or Click Here for a free estimate.