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Environmental Testing

Is Radon Testing Really Needed?

Radon is an odorless gas which emits radioactive particles which constantly bombard the cells in human and animal lung tissue. Radon is a by product of the radioactive decay of uranium which is randomly distributed in the soil. Radon dissipates from the earth as a gas. When radon gas is trapped inside a house or building, it becomes concentrated compared to outdoor air. Sometimes the concentration is extreme in a place where one spends a lot of time.

Most of us live in the same house or work in the same building for long periods of time; this exposes each of us to whatever the radon concentration is. Therefore, the higher the concentration and the greater amount of time we spend in the house or building; the higher our risk of lung cancer is. So it’s really a lifetime of exposure to radon gas which can lead to lung cancer.

If the home or building has not been tested or if you can’t obtain a copy of the previous owner’s test results; radon testing is recommended for your good health.

Why Should I Test My House for Mold?

Mold spores travel in the air. When they land on a moist, wood or paper, they grow. They're helpful when outside in nature. However, if mold is growing in your house, it can make all those living in the house ill. Many homes we inspect have moisture-related problems; therefore it's likely that mold is present in those homes.

The Center for Disease Control has associated asthma and respiratory problems due to moisture and mold in homes. Mold can also cause allergic reactions. Sometimes severe allergic reactions and in rare cases death can occur due to exposure to indoor mold.

So, here is a partial list of reasons to test for mold:

  • Visible mold (or possible mold stains) is observed on wood and paper building materials.
  • A musty odor is observed.
  • Water leaks from wet basements, plumbing, air conditioning, or roof.
  • Ventilation problems in attics or crawl spaces are known to exist.
  • The house has finished basement walls or ceilings where moisture may be concealed.
  • Your 'Agreement of Sale' makes you responsible to discover the mold problem.
  • You or some family member has already been identified as being sensitive.
  • Mold remediation is costly and you don't want to pay for it.
  • And the number one reason to test for mold is to determine if any potentially toxic molds are present.

Medical professionals and scientists haven't established minimum 'safe' levels because of the varying effects on humans. Some molds or their sub species are known to be toxic. Any mold has potential to cause serious allergic reactions especially if the mold counts are above the baseline of the mold in outside air. It's now possible, to measure and compare airborne molds in your house.

The decision to mold test is really up to you. Repairing all moisture problems is always the first step to control mold. Simple, mold-related problems can be remedied by maintaining a dry home and by sanitizing cleaning procedures.

So, unless you choose to test your house for mold, you really don't know about mold growth inside your house!

 


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