RADON SURVEY AT NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER
A one-year radon assessment is being conducted to determine indoor radon gas levels at selected locations within Naval Air Station Patuxent River (NAS PAX River) installations. Radon detectors were deployed in 2018 and will be retrieved and analyzed in 2019. This radon survey is being conducted as a routine task here at NAS PAX River as well as at other Naval installations and facilities of the Armed Forces.
Radon testing is not being conducted because of a known concern, but rather as a proactive step to ensure that our service members and civilian professionals live and work in a healthy environment.
If elevated levels of radon are found, steps will be taken to formulate a plan for corrective action.
We ask for cooperation from everyone in making sure the test devices are not disturbed throughout the required full year that they will be in place.
NAS Pax River Radon POC: (301) 757-4930
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the breakdown of minerals found in certain soils and rocks. It is not the result of any man-made pollution, such as landfills or illegal dumping, nor does it come from equipment. Outdoor levels of radon gas are considered harmless. However, radon gas can accumulate in indoor spaces to levels that can be harmful if one is exposed to the gas’ decay products for long periods of time.
How can Radon impact me?
Radon gas continues to break down into radioactive radon decay products (RDPs) – charged solid particles that can be harmful to human health when suspended in air. Airborne RDPs can be inhaled and deposited onto the lungs and emit alpha radiation that can damage the tissue. Exposure to high levels of RDPs over many years can increase a person’s risk for developing lung cancer. This is why the U.S. Navy is taking proactive steps to identify any potential radon concerns.
Where is Radon a concern?
Radon can be present in any structure that is constructed over radon producing soils or rocks. Your personal residence can be of particular concern, especially with the amount of time that you and your family members spend there. That is why the U.S. EPA as well as many state agencies recommends that all homeowners and schools test for radon.
EPA Map of Radon Zones (Maryland)
The map below was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. EPA, and depicts counties with high radon potential in red (≥4 pCi/L), moderate radon potential in orange (>2 - <4 pCi/L), and low radon potential in yellow (<2 pCi/L). However, these are only predicted averages based on available historic radon testing data primarily from home testing and soil/geology data. Homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three zones. For this reason, it is highly recommended that in addition to this survey, you test your own home for radon.
Key Things to Remember about the Survey:
- The devices will be attached to walls, but may hang from ceilings or other structures.
- They will be in place for one year.
- Because radon comes from the ground, only lower portions of a selected building will be tested.
- They pose no health risk and do not contain electronic recording instrumentation of any kind.
- Please do not disturb the devices. They are extremely sensitive and will give false positive results if tampered with. All positive results will be confirmed with further testing before a final determiniation of radon levels are made.
Below is an image of the radon measurement devices as they will be placed at NAS Pax River buildings. These devices are extremely sensitive and should not be touched, moved, or placed in close proximity to fans or open windows.
To learn more about radon and how to take steps to assure a safe environment in your own home, please visit the following websites:
- U.S. EPA Radon Website Where a great deal of information regarding radon and how it is dealt with is found.
- U.S. EPA Citizen's Guide to Radon Discusses the potential health risks of prolonged radon exposure.
- U.S. EPA Consumer's Guide to Radon How radon can be easily reduced.
- Find a Radon Test Kit or Measurement and Mitigation Professional Resource to obtain a test kit to determine radon exposures in your home.
- Maryland Department of Health Radon Page Provides information and resources related to radon for the state of Maryland.