Frequently Asked Question

What are VOCs?

VOCs are carbon-based chemicals that evaporate easily at room temperature. Common examples are Acetone, Formaldehyde, Toluene, Ethylene glycol, and Benzene.

Where do VOCs come from?

VOCs emit from a variety of household products including building materials such as paints, adhesives, carpets, solvents, varnishes, upholstery fabrics, and vinyl floors. Carbon-based chemicals may also emit from home and personal care products for examples cosmetics, ozone-producing air cleaners, air fresheners, chemical-based disinfectants, and more.

How does a radon mitigation system work?

The most common and most effective radon system is the sub-slab depressurization system. In Canada, typical practice is to install the fan, designed and rated for radon, in the basement and run the pipe out the side of the house. The fan draws the radon from the crawlspace or under the concrete slab. Filling and sealing cracks, gaps, spaces, holes in the foundation, and the slab, make it easier on the fan to suck up the radon and other gases. In the United States, the fan is usually installed in the attic, just before the vent terminates through the roof, or it’s installed at the side of the house. For this system to be 100% effective, the fan needs to create a negative pressure under all slabs covering the entire area of the basement. For more information about radon mitigation/reduction systems, don’t hesitate to ask! info@simonairquality.com

How big are the radon vent pipes?

The radon vent pipes are typically 3″ or 4″ inside diameter PVC piping. It is common to see 4″ ABS or PVC rough ins installed in newer homes during construction, especially in sub-divisions where radon is especially known to exist in high concentration levels.

Does my air conditioning system get rid of VOCs?

Air conditioning with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter may help to reduce the amount of VOCs in home. HEPA filter can cleanse air to medical-grade standard. However, any air-conditioning system cannot completely remove VOCs, especially when you still use many products that emit the compounds.

Can slab on grade or walk out basements have high levels of radon?

For radon to enter and build up in a house, all that is required are some cracks, spaces, gaps in the foundation, radon in the soil, and the inside air warmer than the outside air. As warm air rises in the house and is released out the top via the chimney, attic, appliance’s emissions, and exhaust vents. As long as these variables are present, radon will exist in every building, regardless of whether the house has a slab on grade, crawlspace or walk out basement. This is especially true during the winter season when the temperature differential is big, the stack effect is more relevant, and all the windows and doors are closed or tightly sealed.

What can I do to reduce VOCs?

According to EPA, the levels of VOCs is 2 to 5 rimes higher indoor than outdoor. A combination of good ventilation and HEPA-equipped air-conditioning is helpful at reducing VOCs indoors. The most effective method to improve indoor air quality is to remove all sources of VOCs from your home. Only purchase products that you know you will use and dispose of properly.

What is Thoron?

Thoron is another radioactive noble gas that can enter our homes from the soil. Thoron also decays and emits alpha particles that cause lung cancer; however, Thoron’s half life is only 55 seconds, which is not enough time for it to enter our homes and build up like radon does.

What are the health effects of VOCs?

Health risk depends on several factors including level of VOCs in the air, how often you breathe them in, and time you spend in VOCs-polluted environment. Each chemical listed under VOCs has its own toxicity and leads to different effects. Common short-term effects include dizziness, vomiting/nausea, worsening asthma symptoms, headaches, and throat, eye, and nose irritations. Long-term effects are increased risk of dangerous diseases such as cancer, central nervous system damage, kidney damage, and liver damage.

What level of VOCs is safe?

Most studies about VOCs address toxicity for each chemical rather than as a group. Health effects as results from exposures to a combination of chemicals are unknown. Formaldehyde is one of the best understood VOCs, and long–term exposure to this chemical may cause some types of cancer.

Is Radon's connection with lung cancer scientifically valid?

Scientific groups and researchers have carefully looked at the available data and agreed that there is a connection between radon exposure and lung cancer. Radon is categorized as a Class A carcinogen – There exists plenty of human data, animal studies and sound explanation as to how this takes place.

I use Indoor Air Purifiers from Simon Air Quality. Will those help?

Indoor air purifier is good, and the fact that you use ones from Simon Air Quality makes it even better. The air purifiers utilize various filters including UV light, HEPA, and charcoal filters. Every unit is capable of removing microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria from indoor air. Even the most basic unit for small room has those three filters.

What radon action level do other countries use?

The United States has a radon guideline of 4 pCi/L (equal to approx. 150 Bq/m3). Canada recently lowered it’s action level to 200 Bq/m3. Australia, Sweden, Ireland, and the UK also use 200 Bq/m3. It would be most unlikely for the EPA to raise their recommended action level from 4 pCi/L to 5.4 pCi/L. The W.H.O. recommends that radon levels be reduced to less than 100 Bq/m3 (equivalent to about 2.7 pCi/L).

What else does Simon Air Quality offer?

Apart from the indoor air purifiers, Simon Air Quality also has a range of environment-friendly cleaning solutions to replace the needs for chemical-based cleaner or air fresheners. All the cleaning products contain no harmful chemicals, but still effective to handle stubborn grease, dirt, and stain on all surfaces.

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