Category Archives: Radon on the Web

Informative articles about radon mitigation gathered from around the web

Home Inspection Tips – Lowering Radon Levels

It’s possible a home inspection will reveal the existence of radon gas seeping up through the ground into the living area of the home you want to buy. Radon is known for causing lung cancer, so you don’t want it around. What can you do to decrease the seriousness of the problem? In other words, what do you do to mitigate the radon threat?

Radon resistant techniques can be simple and passive and will lower radon levels when done properly. They can lower levels of moisture and other soil gasses, too. Radon resistant techniques have the additional benefit of making your home more energy efficient and can help you save on energy costs. Save money when a home is first built by not having to deal with the problem later if these techniques are put into place with common building materials.

Even in a new home, radon testing should be done to be sure the level is below 4 pCi/L. If radon levels are high, a passive system can be turned into what’s called an active system by adding a vent fan to reduce radon levels.

You’ll need to find someone who is considered to be a qualified radon mitigator to install radon resistant techniques, whether your home is new or not. Costs will vary, but should be similar to other home repairs you may need to have done.

What are these radon resistant techniques? It’s important to note that this depends on your home’s foundation. Also, if you’re having a house built, ask your builder if they’re using EPA’s recommended approach.

The first radon resistant technique of note is a gas-permeable layer, which is used only in homes with casement and slab-on-grade foundations. It is not used in homes with crawlspace foundations. It usually consists of a four inch layer of clean gravel placed under the slab or flooring system. It’s meant to allow the gas to move freely under the house. Plastic sheeting is placed on top of the gas permeable layer and under the slab to help prevent the soil gas from getting into the home

When a home has crawl spaces, plastic sheeting is placed over the crawlspace floor. This serves as a moisture barrier as well.

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Sealing and caulking is another technique. Any below-grade openings in the concrete foundation floor are sealed to reduce the amount of soil gases getting into the home.

When there’s a gas-permeable layer under the home, a vent pipe is put into the gravel and runs through the house and to the roof to vent gases away from the living area. The pipe used is a 3- or 4-inch gas-tight or PVC pipe, or other gas-tight pipe.

If it’s necessary to use a vent fan to reduce high radon levels, an electrical junction box is included in the attic to make the wiring and installation of a vent fan easier. A separate junction box is put in the living space to power the vent fan alarm. That’s because an alarm is installed along the vent fan to indicate when that fan isn’t operating properly.

Your home inspector or other qualified radon mitigation professional should know the best place to put radon test equipment. It should go into the lowest level of the home that’s occupied regularly, such as any place used as a bedroom, play or exercise area, den or workshop. The EPA says testing should not be done in a closet, stairway, hallway, crawl space or in an enclosed area where there’s either high humidity or breezy air circulation. Avoid places like the kitchen, laundry room,bathroom or furnace room.

There’s no way to accurately know the level of radon in the home you’re building, buying or selling unless radon testing is done. Be sure your home inspector or other qualified professional can do the testing for you. You don’t have to put your family’s health at risk from radon.

You’ve carefully selected the home you’re buying. Make sure you’re as careful when selecting your home inspector. Don’t get stuck paying for repairs missed by a quick home inspection. Author David Haigh is a professional home inspector in NJ. Click now to view a free sample report of a New Jersey home inspection.

Author: David Haigh
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Remediation Explained

One of the major health hazards and Radon dangers that are often present in an invisible, odorless as well as tasteless manner is the presence of Radon in a building which is a danger that needs to be removed and eliminated without delay if you don’t want to end up suffering from lung cancer. Mostly, radon gets into a building through the floor and to reduce the risks you can either try or prevent the Radon gas from entering the building, or you can extract it from the building.

The best Radon remediation technique is the one that addresses a particular instance of Radon presence in the building, and so you may need to choose one or combination of methods to get rid of Radon in the home. However, the easiest way is preventive Radon remediation for which you would need to seal all gaps and cracks as well as the joints under the building’s floors. For this method to succeed, you need to ensure that you can seal everything so that no Radon gas can enter into the home.

You can also use extractive Radon remediation techniques, which are sometimes known as soil suction and which is a very common method of remediation in which you need to make use of cavities that are of the size of a bucket and which are called sumps. These cavities can be connected to a pipe network that leads out of the building. Furthermore, the sump helps in changing pressure differentials between the interior of the building and its exterior through lowering the pressure in the building’s exterior. With the help of a fan, the air below the building is sent into a pipe system and thus extracted out of the building.

This may be a slightly more expensive Radon remediation technique, but it is certainly very effective and thus well worth choosing.

I recently wanted to test my home and I went to a site that helped me a great deal. I was able to buy an affordable home test kit and I received my order within 2 or 3 days. I found them to be very friendly to deal with and very helpful. Go there now to get yourself a simple home test kit – just click here

Author: Charles Berkley
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Remove Radon Gas From Your Home – 7 Secrets to Save You Thousands

When uranium in American soil decomposes, it creates radon. This is bad news for families when the gas seeps in through the cracks of your basement and floorboards. Too much exposure can lead to lung cancer, and radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. Annually.

When radon levels in a house are too high, I have seen people reduce them by 90%+ just using the simple steps in this guide. If you do it right, you can avoid exposing yourself to high levels of radon in the process.

1. Get a commercial radon testing kit and see how high your levels are.

2. If the levels are 4x the safe levels in your state or more, stop right there. Google a “radon mitigation professional” in your area and have him come do the work. It’s simply not worth the risk if the levels are that high.

3. Ensure that you’re getting enough air circulation through all the close and compact areas in your home, such as your basements and crawl spaces.

4. Aerate your home further with vents and fans. Put in ventilation fans in your home anywhere radon levels have accumulated and are particularly high. Open up all your chimney flues and make sure you let stale air waft out of the home by opening and closing doors.

5. Look for ways to generate cross-draft in your home by opening adjacent doors. For example, you may have a second doorway to your backyard through the kitchen. Open that door up and the front door. Put a fan facing out of your home in the direction of the cross-draft to get that stale air out of your home.

6. Seal off the cracks in your walls and floors. These gaps are your entry point for radon gas.

7. Seal off all open plumbing bores and seal your wall seam to the floor. Any area in your home that lacks a complete join is a candidate for sealing.

You want your family to live a long, healthy life, and so do we. Make sure your home is radon-free with these DIY radon mitigation techniques. Remember, if you cannot reduce your radon levels dramatically by yourself, make sure you get a professional. Ignoring radon will NOT make it go away.

Jeff Frobark works for Vetter Electric, certified NJ electrical contractors with 15+ years experience. Get tons of free information about radon treatment and NJ circuit breaker maintenance at their website.

Author: Jeff Frobark
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Mitigation

If you’ve done a radon test and the results came back showing that the level is higher than 4 PCi/L, then you definitely need to install a radon mitigation system. Usually this system keeps the gas concentration to lower levels that cannot be harmful. In fact, it lowers the levels up to 2 PCi/L. Interestingly, If you later decide to sell the house installed with this system, the price will be definitely tangible.

Basically, it would be best to inquire from an expert opinion before installing any radon mitigation system. However, if you choose not to, then you ought to consider certain criteria. For instance, the type of foundation and the design of the house. Here you’ll find that there are houses that have a simple space under the first floor, some with concrete-poured on the ground level, some that combine these two foundation designs, others with a crawl space and half a slab-on-grade etc.

Whichever the design of your house, there are several procedures that may be required to achieve radon mitigation. Generally, you can opt for prevention by using special devices that may prevent radon from entering the house or you can choose to lower the gas concentration. Installing underground fans, radon contractors, sealing cracks and openings in the walls etc, are some of the measures you can undertake to control radon.

Such things as the soil type beneath the house, foundation design and so on, are some of the special diagnostic tests that should be done before you start on the radon process. Nevertheless, it would be better and wise to talk to the team in charge of the whole procedure and analyze every detail together.

Peter Gitundu Creates Interesting And Thought Provoking Content on Radon. For More Information, Read More Of His Articles Here RADON POISONING If You Enjoyed This Article, Make Sure You SUBSCRIBE TO MY RSS FEED!

Author: Peter Gitundu
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Should You Test For Radon in Your Home?

Most people don’t think much about Radon, and yet Radon can have a major impact on their health and that of their families. That’s because Radon can seep into homes and contaminate the air inside. That’s a major reason for concern as Radon is a major cause of lung cancer, second only after cigarette smoking. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are over 20,000 deaths in the United States every year due to exposure to Radon. How are we getting exposed to Radon, and what can a homeowner do about it?

Radon is a gas that is formed naturally when uranium in rock, soil and groundwater breaks down. The Radon gas then finds its way up to the surface. Unlike other forms of pollution or dangerous gasses, you can neither see nor smell Radon. Most of the time, Radon harmlessly dissipates into the atmosphere outdoors, as it has for millions of years, and it isn’t a problem at all. It does become a problem when it finds its way into your house. How can that happen?

In many ways. What happens is that the Radon gas in the soil under your home collects in the void and air spaces under the foundation slab and gradually enters the home. It can also enter through cracks in foundations or even through showers and drainage sumps. Most new homes have much better insulation than in the past, of so the Radon gas becomes trapped indoors. So in this case the better insulation and sealing actually works against you. What can be done to fix a home with a Radon problem?

There are two basic ways to handle the problem. One of them is to install pipes that suck the Radon gas away from the spaces beneath the foundation and harmlessly expel it to the outside above the roof via an electric fan connected to exterior pipes. Another is to run the pipes inside the house or the garage so that the Radon is expelled outside above the roof. In this case, the electric fan is located in the attic, so the components of the system cannot be seen from the outside of the home. Both of these methods are referred to as Radon reduction or “mitigation” systems. According to Jamey Gelina, a radon specialist with The Air Quality Control Agency, “Radon gas can be reduced to safe levels in practically any home when the proper mitigation techniques are applied.”

How do homeowners know whether or not their house is exposed to Radon? That’s where Radon testing comes in. Radon occurs all over the United States, so testing should be pretty much mandatory. Testing is fairly simple and can be done by qualified testing services that install a detection device and then examine the results after a few days. This will reliably determine if the Radon levels in a home are high enough to require a Radon mitigation system. About one in every 15 homes in the US has excessive Radon levels, and Radon testing is mandatory in many states when you buy or sell a home. Even if it’s not, given the potential health risks, it’s foolish not to test one’s home.

If testing reveals elevated Radon levels, a Radon mitigation system must be installed. Installation isn’t difficult and it’s a proven and effective technology, but it must be done right. There are many qualified mitigation system installers with certified and licensed technicians, so pick someone who’s been in the business for a while to remove this potentially deadly thread from your home.

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Learn more about Radon Testing and Mitigation.

Author: Chris Robertson
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon – The Invisible Killer

Radon is a colorless, tasteless, naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soil and rock that is a by-product of decaying uranium. You might be thinking, I’ve heard of uranium, don’t they make bombs from that? Well, yes they do, but uranium occurs naturally in rocks all around the globe. Some areas have a natural propensity to have higher concentrations of uranium than others.

Why radon is dangerous

We are all walking around with a bit of radiation in our bodies, and radon is by far the largest contributor to a person’s overall amount of radiation they are carrying around. Breathing high doses of radon has been scientifically proven to cause lung cancer. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon could be the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking causing 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. Radon-induced lung cancer ranks as the 6th leading cause of cancer deaths overall. Other forms of cancer may be related to radon exposure. Studies are underway to see if there exists a relationship between radon exposure and leukemia.

Where radon is

Remember radon gas is formed as a by-product of soil containing granite or shale (the two of which carry larger than average amounts of uranium). But we’re talking very small amounts. On average, every square mile of surface soil, to a depth of 6 inches, contains only 1 gram of radium which is responsible for releasing radon into the atmosphere. Worldwide, the amount of radon varies greatly and is variable within a given region and even from room to room in a house.

Is radon in my home?

Radon exits the ground and can seep into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon gas can also contaminate well water. We know that radon concentrations are usually higher in areas near major fault lines so in Southern California we should be aware and take the proper precautions.

Knowing the characteristics of radon gas should help protect you and your family from exposure. First, radon gas being heavier than air tends to settle in low lying areas. With adequate ventilation, radon gas cannot become concentrated to a level to cause harm. On the other hand, in enclosed areas such as inside buildings, basements and crawl spaces, radon gas levels can become harmful. Second, if you smoke, stop! The effects of radon exposure in people that smoke is synergistic; i.e. the effect of smoking coupled with higher than average levels of radon exposure is greater than the sum of the two parts measured separately.

The EPA claims that 1 in 15 U.S. homes has radon levels above the recommended guideline. Their guideline of what is acceptable is roughly equivalent to receiving 200 chest x-rays over one’s lifetime. Their current recommendation (and that of the US Surgeon General) is that all homes be monitored for radon levels.

How to test for radon

Home kits are available in most home centers but it is claimed that their results might not be reliable. A better option would be to hire a professional home inspector with experience in radon testing. Professional tests are reliable in determining if your home has areas in it where radon levels are above the threshold set forth by the EPA. The tests are non-invasive and begin by placing a measurement device near the floor on the lower level of the home. Additional tests may be recommended by the inspector if you have any granite surfaces in your home, like a kitchen countertop. Other than placing the collection devices where recommended, nothing is done. There are some specific instructions that you must follow regarding the testing site(s) like keeping the windows and doors shut as much as possible. Testing may have to be postponed if your area is experiencing high winds or a pending storm, or if humidity levels are high (all of which may adversely affect the test results).

The inspector will return in 2-7 days to collect the devices after which time they are sent to a lab for analysis. Results are usually available shortly thereafter.

How to remove radon

The EPA recommends you use mitigation (control) techniques to reduce indoor radon if levels in your home are above the recommended threshold. Mitigation methods include adding positive pressure ventilation in your home which effectively creates a pressure differential (higher pressure in your home, gas cannot flow in). Sealing all floor penetrations to help prevent the gas from seeping into your home from below is also a good idea. Be advised that ventilating your basement or crawl space IS NOT RECOMMENDED as some people suggest. This flawed mitigation technique practiced by many companies could have the adverse effect of bringing more radon gas in which naturally exists outside the footprint of your home’s foundation.

Homebuyers: be sure to read this

If you are in the process of purchasing a home ask your Realtor to include a radon contingency in your offer to purchase. This clause states the maximum level of radon that is acceptable to you and your family. Afterwards, hire a company to survey the home for radon gas levels. Radon testing is offered by most professional home inspection companies so be sure to ask this question when interviewing home inspectors in your area. If radon levels are found to be above the levels set by you in your contingency, this clause will afford you the right to back out of the contract without penalty.

Facts to remember about radon gas

  • Just because your next door neighbor’s house has tested high for radon gas does not mean your home is at risk.
  • Houses with basements are not at a higher risk for radon than houses without basements.
  • Radon levels vary region to region, and even from house to house on the same street.

This article is free to copy and use on your website or other publication providing the information below is included in your article.

Darin Redding is owner of Housecall Property Inspections, a professional San Diego Home Inspection company. Original Article Source: Radon San Diego

Author: Darin Redding
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Understanding Radon and How to Reduce it With Radon Venting

Outside of smoking, radon is considered to be the leading cause of cancer. It’s a carcinogen that most people find in their homes. In order to reduce this, you have to properly vent your home and minimize the radon levels. Did you know there are guides to do this properly? It’s not something most people know about, but there are also professionals who assist you as well.

The bad thing about radon is it’s not something you can see or smell. In fact, it’s so undetectable to our regular perception; you need special equipment to realize its present. There are several different devices out there, but some include; alpha-track detectors, charcoal canisters, or charcoal liquid scintillation devices (which are passive). The good news is they don’t need an ounce of power to function. However, if you want something that continuously monitors radon then you will need one that uses power.

If you do this and realize radon is present, it’s important to figure out if they are at harmful levels. If so then it is time to figure out how to reduce it as much as possible. Your choice of remedies will depend on whether or not you want to prevent radon entry, or if you want to reduce it after entry. If you’re on the prevention line, the EPA suggests soil suction. However, this is going to depend on what type of house you own, because there may be better techniques for your situation.

It all starts with the foundation. Head to the basement and start using the soil suction on the sub slab, drain tile, sump hole, or even block wall suction.

If by chance you have crawlspace housing, try converting the dirt floor with a plastic sheet of high density. Once everything is in place you can grab a fan and vent pipe, then draw the radon out from under the sheet and vent it out. This is actually considered the best recommendation for crawlspace houses (called sub-membrane suction). Then of course you have depressurization where the air can be removed from the crawlspace with a more powerful fan. However, just opening vents or installing more can help to reduce radon in crawlspaces.

There is also the opportunity to use outdoor air and warm it with a heat recovery ventilator. This helps to increase the overall ventilation and minimize the radon levels in your home. While this can be done in any part of the home, it usually has the most benefits when working with basement projects.

When all else fails or sounds too difficult, the best place to come back to is natural ventilation. If you open vents, doors or windows on the lowest part of your home, it can definitely help. Once you’re able to mix both indoor and outdoor air together, it will basically saturate the radon levels. Keep in mind though that they will return within 12 hours once you close everything up again. So this is a short term solution.

In the end it’s just important to use the option that works best for your situation. Whether it’s the various ones we mentioned above or something like sealing and house/room pressurization, they all work. If you can figure out which option is geared for your home, the radon levels will soon diminish and you will feel much safer.

Learn more about radon venting and our recommended radon mitigation system at RadonKits.com

Author: Gray Rollins
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon and Lung Cancer – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You When Buying a Home

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States. As a Certified Property Inspector and Radon tester, I am seeing that most new home buyers are unaware of the dangers of Radon. As a result of this lack of information, most home buyers as well as current homeowners are not having their homes tested for Radon. In many cases, my clients have also been misinformed by real estate representatives or the media regarding both the prevalence and lung cancer dangers of radon. Radon testing if done by the homeowner, is inexpensive, and takes only 48 hours.

Here are some important facts about Radon that homeowners and renters should know to protect the health of your family. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Visit cheec.uiowa.edu/misc/radon.html for more on a study by Dr. William Field on radon-related lung cancer in women.

Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. The type of construction, foundation or location does not prevent a Radon problem. Its presence in a home can pose a danger to a familys health. The only way to determine if a home has a Radon problem is to have an EPA standardized test done. This test can be completed by the homeowner or a certified professional.

The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend that all homes be tested for radon. All homes can be fixed if there is a radon problem found. The average cost of a radon fix for a home is about $1,200. Some home improvement stores sell inexpensive test kits for about $35 (which includes an EPA certified lab report). However, Consumer Reports recently found that those test kits were not very accurate. Therefore, if you want to do your own testing contact your state radon office for a better quality inexpensive test kit.

If the homeowner or buyer/seller does not or cannot to do the Radon testing (some states require a professional complete the test during a real estate transaction), visit the National Environmental Health Association Radon Certification website at: radongas.org/radon_measurement_service.shtml This site has properly certified radon testers as myself listed by the cities in your state.

The untimely deaths of Peter Jennings and Dana Reeve have raised public awareness about lung cancer, especially among people who have never smoked. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is especially true for radon.

EPA has designated January as National Radon Action Month, a time when state radon programs and other partners conduct special radon outreach activities and events across the country. The aim of National Radon Action Month is to increase the public’s awareness of radon, promote radon testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant new construction practices.

For more information on Radon and home inspections or to contact the author, please visit: http://www.gpinspect.com

Steve Zivolich, is an ASHI Certified Inspector and owner of Guaranteed Property Inspection and Mold Investigation in Southern California. He is also certified in: Radon, Mold, Energy Efficiency and Asbestos testing and investigations.

Author: Steve Zivolich
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Abatement – Users Guide

The first thing that you need to understand is that the presence of radon gas is dangerous to your health, and because there is no odor to this gas and it also is invisible and colorless, you would normally not be aware of its presence without performing a Radon test in the building. There is also no level of it that can be said to be safe, and thus even the slightest presence of radon gas can prove to be detrimental to your health.

There are a number of different methods for radon abatement and you can use simple methods such as sealing cracks or use radon exhaust fans or vent fans to help eliminate or reduce the levels of the gas in a building. If you need more advice as to the best means of affecting radon abatement in a building then you need to go through the EPA “Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction”, and this guide can be obtained from the state radon office.

The benefits of consulting a user guide for using things such as radon detectors are many and include learning how to test for this gas, and knowing the health risks associated with radon. In addition, you will learn about radon abatement, how the gas gets into a building and whether it exists in only soil, or is it also present in water etc.

Thus, it is essential to learn how effective it to perform radon mitigation is, especially as you should expect to pay about twelve hundred dollars on average to remediate and lower the levels of radon gas in a building. In addition, you would need to use Sub-slab depressurization methods to lower levels of Radon gas in the home. However, there is no regulations available pertaining to controlling radon levels inside a building and thus you need to rely only on guidelines as well as national goals.

Conducting a radon test in your home is very simple. We have located a web site that sells low cost radon testing products that are 100% EPA approved and easy to use. You can order online and have the package within just a few days, not to mention their excellent customer support. Click here to go there now.

Author: Charles Berkley
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon And Real Estate – Know The Facts And Fear Not

Concerned about buying or selling a home with Radon? You’ll find no need to worry if you educate yourself with the facts. Radon is found all over the United States, and one home can show a reading while the house next door shows nothing. From a real estate perspective, buyers can consider it a plus if a mitigation system is already in place, because that means the house has been tested, and fixed, and there’s no mystery. On the flip side, sellers can confidently let potential buyers see the radon results of a house, along with any mitigation, in a positive light, because information is more honorable than ignorance. I figure the good karma alone would pay off…

Radon is a radioactive gas found in soil and rock, formed by the decay of uranium, which is a natural process. Radon gas is invisible, with no odor or taste. Statistics say that radon hasn’t been shown to negatively affect home sales, but after my own experience of having the option to buy a house with radon, I wondered if that statistic was really true. I didn’t want to buy a “cancer-causing radon house” but that was a very uneducated and closed end thought. Ironically, I was ready and willing to buy a house that didn’t even mention radon at all. Of course, it had to finally occur to me, “What if this other house has radon too, and it’s just never been tested?”

In retrospect, our situation made me think that the psychology of not mentioning it at all could be pretty slick, and affective, but only initially. The truth is, there are still many people who – innocently – don’t consider it an important part of buying or selling a home; it simply doesn’t occur to them. There are many who even consider radon a scam entirely. However, out of respect and consideration for the market, it would probably be wise to have test results on hand.

Would you rather know, or choose ignorance? I’d rather know, particularly if a house had a high level that needed to be addressed with mitigation. An extremely high level, like 20 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter) might spook me a little, but my chances of getting lung cancer even then (without mitigation) would only be 36 out of 1000, and that’s IF I were exposed over a lifetime. Statistics say that a level of 20 pCi/L would cause lung cancer to 260 out of 1000 people if they were exposed to that level for a lifetime AND they also smoked cigarettes. So obviously the level is hugely reduced for non-smokers, but we all know that smoking is its own risk anyway.

Human nature doesn’t typically want to think about risks and our emotional interpretation of them with numbers, charts and comparisons. Any one of us could still get hit by a bus tomorrow, right? Still, information offers wisdom, and to make a decision as a home buyer, you should take a look at the numbers with a mitigation system in place so you can at least see that there’s no need for extensive fear.

Mitigation systems can reduce whatever level of radon that is present down to 2 to 4 pCi/L. Because of the very definition of radon, the EPA can’t say that they consider any level safe, but they do say that 2 to 4 pCi/L is acceptable, with minimal risks. If mitigation lowers radon to an acceptable level, the EPA says your chances of getting lung cancer are only about 5 in 1000. With lower numbers like that, one realizes that walking or living in pollution over a lifetime could just as easily have ramifications too, like a dozen or more other factors. Okay, so, “Warning: being alive will kill you one day.” No big surprise there.

It’s nothing to make fun of, but very low levels of radon need not be perceived as alarms that make home buyers run for the hills. Humans have been living with varying amounts of radon in the earth and air for a long time, completely oblivious to it for the most part. It fluctuates with warm and cold, damp and dry conditions, and furthermore, there are worse things in the world that can be just as hazardous to our health, if not more so. Don’t become phobic, but stop and think about the chemistry, biology and toxins all over our environments; some of our cleaning products, molds, pesticides, pets, and even food choices… Heaven help us if we over-analyze “indoor pollution” and “what’s in that dust?”

Here are some things to consider, just to make sure you’re informed and have no unnecessary fears or misconceptions.

How long might you live in the house? Some people buy a house to live in for a lifetime while others know that they will want to take it up a notch in 5 or so years. Radon’s health risks are charted to show how a person’s health would be affected over a lifetime of exposure; this is probably equivalent to 20 years or more. The risk for only 5 to 10 years of exposure would likely show lower risks than the EPA’s “over a lifetime” chart.

According to the EPA, the average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L. If you buy a home that hasn’t been tested at all, consider that this average exists.

Yes, radon is a hazard, but it can be fixed. Have confidence in mitigation systems, and if you have any doubt, contact the National Radon Hotline at 1-800-SOS RADON to ask if there are mitigation professionals in your area that can check the system. If they can’t tell you, they can at least give you the number to your state’s radon office so you can find out about trained mitigation contractors in your area.

Study the Environmental Protection Agency’s website (www.epa.gov) to find many consumer resources, including information about radon and health, and how various mitigation systems work.

If you’re in love with a house that you want to buy, don’t hesitate to ask the seller to test for radon, even though it may take some extra time. If the score shows radon above the “acceptable” level, know that mitigation can either be requested as a contingency in your offer, or you can try to get a fair reduction on the price of the house to accommodate your cost of adding mitigation.

Suggestion to sellers: test your house and make sure you’re ready to show test results if a prospective buyer asks about radon. If needed at all, you can either have mitigation installed in order to offer a safer home for sale, or be prepared to lower your asking price accordingly. (Not by much, roughly $500 to $2000). There’s a very good chance that a buyer will appreciate the knowledge or action taken pre-sale. Only the uneducated will shy away, so it would be helpful to have a few informative brochures readily available.

Simply put, houses with radon can be fixed, and doing so doesn’t cost an arm and a leg – no more than a medium to low-cost home repair. Fear not. If you want to buy a house because it feels like home, and the deal is ripe and full of potential, don’t miss out on it due to uninformed (or misinformed) fears about radon. Refer to http://www.radon.com or the EPA’s website to find out more about test kits and contacting your state’s radon office; be educated, so you can make a smart decision on buying, or take responsible, if not considerate, action as a seller.

Author: Angela Cravens
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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