What is the correct way to test for radon? Indoor Air Quality Tips


Radon is estimated to cause thousands of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. The EPA recommends that you test your home for radon and install a mitigation system if the level is 4 picocuries per liter or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced. So what is the correct way to test for radon?

EPA-Radon-USA-Map

1. Purchase a do-it-yourself short-term test radon test kit from your local home supply store. Be sure to read the directions carefully and follow them exactly. These DIY kits are inexpensive and can be very accurate if used properly.

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2. If the test comes back marginal or high, hire a local independent building inspector(here or here) or certified radon tester to do a long-term test.

There is no known safe level of radon, so if there is radon present take actions to reduce it. There are several methods to reduce radon in your home, but the most common is a vent system and fan which pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it outside. You can also try to seal all the gaps and cracks, create positive air pressure in your basement, add a fresh air exchange, or introduce fresh air ventilation into the space.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Deb Van Horn says:

    Our part of Virginia is in an area that has a higher incidence level of exposure (zone 1). Testing is available from local home inspectors, like http://www.vhinspections.com and mitigation systems are not expensive, especially vs. possible medical conditions you could face if not mitigated.

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  2. Deb, thanks for posting a link to your company! Are there any other local inspectors that offer testing services for Radon?

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  3. Deb Van Horn says:

    Charles, you can find a certified professional (National Radon Safety Board) at the following link:
    There are a few in our area, but thought this might be helpful, since you and your readers are not just in the valley.

    http://www.nrsb.org/find_a_professional.asp

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  4. Ennis says:

    Do you have a recommended mitigator?

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  5. Radon Solutions: http://www.radonsolutionsva.com/ specializes in Radon Reduction Systems.

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