You have probably heard of radon gas. As more information comes out about its link to lung cancer, it has received a lot of attention. However, , it is not the only harmful gas that comes from our soil. Lesser known but still something to be aware of, are volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). So what are VOC’s and do you need to take action to protect your family?
Volatile Organic Compounds
VOC’s are typically derived from solvents, dry cleaning fluids, fuels, and by-products of chlorination. Common sources include existing or discontinued underground storage tanks, dry cleaning operations, gas stations, and industrial processes. They may include such chemicals as:
- carbon tetrachloride
- tetrachloroethene (PCE)
- trichlroroethene (TCE)
- methytlene chloride
- methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)
These vapors can enter your home from underlying soil and water. They can also enter through drains, cracks, crawlspaces, control joints and pumps. These can create a potential health risk for occupants who inhale them.
Health Risks of VOC’s
While radon is the most dangerous, there are some health risks associated with the other VOC’s. These can include cancer and organ toxicity. Gases, such as methane from landfills, can also present potential explosive hazards.
Radon and other VOC’s can all be addressed with a mitigation system. The most common and effective are sub-soil and sub-membrane depressurization. They create negative pressure in the soil to pull the gases into pipes throughout the house. These pipes then vent the vapors above the house. Click here to learn more about mitigation systems.
If you are concerned about radon and other VOC’s, contact the experts at Utah Radon Services for a free estimate to install a mitigation system. If you need to test for radon, fill out the form on this page.