Common Questions About Radon
Would I need to test my radon level if my house is only two years old?
In many instances newly built houses have higher concentrations of radon than older dwellings. The geology of the soil where a house is built plays an important role in determining the concentration level of Radon gas. Radon is a gas that moves through the ground towards lowest resistance. If you have two houses side by side, one might have high concentrations of radon and the other might not. The house that has higher concentration of radon might have cracks in the foundation, or sump pump gaps where radon can easily escape into the basement. Based on Environmental Protection Agency research, 1 in every 15 households in the United States has higher concentrations of radon, that are equal or more than 4 pC/Liter.
What is an average concentration of radon in US home?
The average concentration of radon in the United States home is 1.3 pC/L.
What is an average concentration of radon outside?
Answer: 0.4 pC/L
What is an average level of radon where EPA strongly recommends mitigation?
Answer: Equal or higher than 4 pC/L.
What season of the year is the level of radon elevated?
Answer: Winter, because the difference of temperatures inside vs. outside is higher in winter vs. summer season.
MYTH: Scientists aren’t sure radon really is a problem.
FACT: Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon, all the major health organizations (like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association) agree with estimates that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year. This is especially true among smokers, since the risk to smokers is much greater than to non-smokers.
MYTH: Radon testing is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.
FACT: Radon testing is easy. You can test your home yourself or hire a qualified radon test company. Either approach takes only a small amount of time and effort.
MYTH: Homes with radon problems can’t be fixed.
FACT: There are simple solutions to radon problems in homes. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners have already fixed radon problems in their homes. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs.
MYTH: Radon affects only certain kinds of homes.
FACT: House construction can affect radon levels. However, radon can be a problem in homes of all types: old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements, homes without basements. Local geology, construction materials, and how the home was built are among the factors that can affect radon levels in homes.
MYTH: Radon is only a problem in certain parts of the country.
FACT: High radon levels have been found in every state. Radon problems do vary from area to area, but the only way to know your radon level is to test.
MYTH: A neighbor’s test result is a good indication of whether your home has a problem.
FACT: It’s not. Radon levels can vary greatly from home to home. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test it.
MYTH: It’s difficult to sell homes where radon problems have been discovered.
FACT: Where radon problems have been fixed, home sales have not been blocked or frustrated. The added protection is sometimes a good selling point.
MYTH: I’ve lived in my home for so long, it doesn’t make sense to take action now.
FACT: You will reduce your risk of lung cancer when you reduce radon levels, even if you’ve lived with a radon problem for a long time.
MYTH: Short-term tests can’t be used for making a decision about whether to fix your home.
FACT: A short-term test, followed by a second short-term test* can be used to decide whether to fix your home. However, the closer the average of your two short-term tests is to 4 pCi/L, the less certain you can be about whether your year-round average is above or below that level. Keep in mind that radon levels below 4 pCi/L still pose some risk. Radon levels can be reduced in most homes to 2 pCi/L or below.