Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Got Radon?

Although I've been offering radon detection services for a number of years, it has not been something that I've actively pushed. However, this past week, I conducted a radon test on a one year old home that resulted in an average reading of 100.2 pCi/L. The EPA recommends that you fix any home that has radon concentrations of 4.0 pCi/L or higher. So you can see that this home has a huge radon problem.

For those of you who don't know, radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that eminates from the soil and seeps into homes through cracks and other openings in basements, crawlspaces and slabs. There is no safe level of radon, but the lower the concentration, the lower the risk. Lung cancer caused by radon is estimated to cause more than 20,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. The good news is that most homes with high radon levels can be fixed at a reasonable price.

If you haven't had your home tested for radon, do it now! Kits are available in most hardware stores for less than $25 which includes the cost of analyzing the samples. The only way to determine whether your house has a radon problem is to test. You can't go by neighborhood location, soil types, etc. A house located next to a high radon home could have perfectly normal results, but you have to test to be sure. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/.

I know that from now on, my home inspection clients will be required to sign a waiver agreement acknowledging that I have given them the option to test for radon, in the event that they decline to have testing performed.