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Idea for Breathing Easier in Home

November 07, 1999

In an Oct. 31 letter, Lisa Finn asked how she can protect her health from chlordane residue under her house.

I would like to suggest moving the poisoned air out of the crawl space before it has a chance to migrate into her home's living space.

This is not a permanent solution because I have no knowledge of the time it takes chlordane to break down into nontoxic byproducts, but forcing crawl space air out from under the house seems an inexpensive intermediate step until a better long-term solution can be undertaken.

I'm newly arrived from the Pacific Northwest, where radon gas abatement contractors applied air exchange technology for removing radon gas leaching up through soil in crawl spaces and below basement concrete slabs.

If no "specialist" is available, perhaps an adventurous HVAC contractor would be willing.

Otherwise, a homeowner with a few tools could contact a sheet-metal fabrication shop, which could custom-make a piece of ductwork to fit into a vent opening attached to a small industrial type blower motor that can be set up in the crawl space or outside a foundation vent in a protected area.

I suggest that Finn "pull" the toxic air out of her crawl space rather than "force" fresh air in to avoid accidentally moving crawl space air into her living area through openings around electrical and plumbing penetrations in the floor.

For a couple hundred dollars, she could breath a lot easier while she does further research.



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