Protect Your family, Test Your Home
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil and water from the natural decay of uranium. Radon is all around us and although levels outdoors pose a relatively low threat to our health, radon can accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings such as homes, hospitals and schools.
You can’t see it, smell it or taste it and as a result many people feel it is an intangible. Elevated radon levels in your home may be affecting the health of your family. Testing is easy and fixing the problem if elevated radon levels are found is a straightforward process.
The EPA states that exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the number one cause among non-smokers.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. Your risk is even higher if you smoke and your home has elevated levels of radon.
Elevated levels of radon have been found in homes in every Massachusetts county. An average of 1 in 4 homes in Massachusetts has an elevated radon level and there is no area in the state that risk free. For example, there can be two homes right next door to each other that can have significantly different radon levels. Just because your neighbors house does not have elevated radon levels doesn’t mean yours will mirror theirs. The only way to know is to test.
The EPA action level for radon is 4.0 pCi/L. High levels of radon in homes usually come from the soil surrounding the home. Radon gas seeps into the house through entry points such as cracks and openings in the foundation, drainage and sump openings or poorly sealed pipes on the lower levels of your home. Areas of concern or hot spots are basements, first floor living space and garages. It is important to remember elevated levels can be found on any floor in the house or property.
Radon problems can be fixed and is dependent on the general construction of your home. Most homes can be fixed for about the same fee as other common home repairs. A qualified radon mitigation specialist is who should install a radon remediation system in your home. They can guide you on their specific cost based on your home’s construction and design required to fit your home to achieve maximum benefits. These professionals can be found on your state radon office’s website or through NRPP (National Radon Proficiency Program).
New home construction can be built using radon-resistant features. Radon resistant construction can be very effective in reducing radon-entry. When used properly, these simple and cost effective techniques can help reduce the accumulation of radon gas in homes.
Every home should be tested even if built using radon-resistant construction processes. If radon levels are at or above the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L, it is easier and less expensive to reduce radon levels in home that have been built with radon-resistant construction techniques.
It is important to remember that if elevated radon levels are found and mitigation is recommended, re-testing after 24 hours and before 30 days of installation to determine that the remediation system is working effectively. If the levels are within EPA’s guidelines, re-testing every 2 +/- years is highly recommended.
For further information, please visit my personal informational radon website: www.radontestinginma.com
I am always available to answer any questions and to perform radon testing in Massachusetts.
Laura S. Rossinow
Broker, REALTOR®, SRES®
NRPP Residential Radon Measurement Provider
Keller Williams Realty