- If you are buying a home or selling your home,
have it tested for radon.
- For new homes, ask if radon resistant construction
feature have been used.
- Fix the home if the radon level is 4 picocuries
per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
- Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a
risk, and in many cases may be reduced.
- Take steps to prevent device interference when
conducting a radon test.
What are common entry places for radon?
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EPA has developed this guide to help home buyers and sellers address
8 key questions about radon:
- Why Do You Need to Test for Radon?
- If You are Selling a Home, What Should You Do?
- If You are Buying a Home, What Should You Do?
- If You are Buying a Newly-Built Home, What
Should You Do?
- How Can You Get Reliable Radon Test Results?
- Types of Radon Devices
- Length of Time to Test
- If You Conduct a Short-Term Test
- Using Testing Devices Properly
(If You Do the Test Yourself)
- EPA's Testing Checklist
- Getting Reliable Test Results (If
You Hire a Professional Radon Tester)
- Interpreting Radon Test Results
- What Should You Do If You Find
a High Radon Level?
- Where Can You Get More Information about Radon?
PLEASE NOTE: The information in these pages have been modified
slightly from the original Agency publication to reflect changes in
technical terminology, specifically, in the descriptions of radon
measurement and mitigation service providers participating in EPA's
Radon Proficiency Program (RPP).
This guide is for anyone buying or selling a home who wants
to learn about radon.
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas
You cannot see radon. And you cannot smell it or taste it. But it
may be a problem in your home. That is because when you breathe air
containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In
fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading
cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke
and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially
You should test for radon
Testing is the only way to find out your home's radon levels. EPA
and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third
floor for radon.
You can fix a radon problem
If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix
a radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable
If you are selling a home...
EPA recommends that you test your home before putting it on the market
and, if necessary, lower your radon levels. Save the test results
and all information you have about steps that were taken to fix any
problems. This could be a positive selling point. (See Sections 2(a) & (b) and 5(c) & (d)
below for recommendations about how to test.)
If you are buying a home...
EPA recommends that you obtain the indoor radon level in a home you
are considering buying. Ask the seller for radon test results. If
the home has a radon reduction system, ask the seller for information
about the system.
If the home has not yet been tested, Sections 2(b) and 5(c)
of this Guide make recommendations about how to test now.
If you are buying a newly-constructed home, please refer to Section 4.
The radon testing guidelines in the "Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide
to Radon" have been developed specifically to deal with the time sensitive
nature of home purchases and sales and the potential for radon device
The guidelines in the "Home Buyer's Guide" are somewhat different
from the guidelines in other EPA publications which provide radon
testing and reduction information for non-real estate situations.
The "Home Buyer's Guide" recommends three short-term testing options
when long-term testing is not possible. The "Home Buyer's Guide" also
recommends testing a home in the lowest level of the home which is
currently suitable for occupancy. This is because a buyer may choose
to live in a lower area of the home than that used by the seller.
Back to the Table of Contents
1. WHY DO YOU
NEED TO TEST FOR RADON?
Radon Has Been Found In Homes All Over the U.S.
Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over
the U.S. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock
and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves
up through the ground to the air above and into your home through
cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home can trap radon
inside. Sometimes radon enters the home through well water (see Section 6 for more information
about radon in water.)
Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes,
well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.
In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest
radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.
Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated
radon levels. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes
in your state. Contact your state radon office for information about
radon in your area.
EPA And The Surgeon General Recommend That You Test Your Home
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk
from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes
below the third floor for radon.
|Why you cannot estimate
radon levels based on state, local and neighborhood radon measurements
Do not rely on radon test results taken in other homes in the
neighborhood to estimate the radon level in your home. Homes
which are next to each other can have different indoor radon
levels. While radon problems may be more common in some areas
in the local community or state, any home may have a problem.
Testing your home is the only way to find out what your radon
Back to the Table of Contents
2. IF YOU
ARE SELLING A HOME, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
a. If your home has already been tested for radon...
If you are thinking of selling your home and you have already tested
your home for radon, provide your test results to the buyer. Review
the testing Checklist in Section 5(e) to make sure that the test
was done correctly.
No matter what kind of test you took, a potential buyer may ask for
a new test especially if:
- you took a test and the Checklist items were not met;
- you have renovated or altered your home since you tested;
- the buyer plans to live in a lower level of the house than you
do, such as a basement which is suitable for occupance but is not
currently lived in;
- or, your State requires disclosure of Radon information to buyers.
b. If the home has not yet been tested for radon...
Have a test taken as soon as possible. If you can, test your home
before putting it on the market because this may save time during
real estate transactions. You should test in the lowest level of the
home which is suitable for occupancy and finished. This means testing
in the lowest level that you currently live in or a lower level not
currently used, but which a buyer could use for living space without
renovations. The result of the radon test is important information
about your home's radon level that potential buyers may want to know.
You can test your own home or hire an EPA-listed or state-certified
radon tester. Call your state radon office for a list of these professional
radon testers. If you test your own home, carefully follow the Checklist
in Section 5(e).
Back to the Table of Contents
3. IF YOU
ARE BUYING A HOME, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
a. If the home has already been tested for radon...
If you are thinking of buying a home, you may either decide to accept
the test results from the seller, ask the seller to do another test,
or you may ask for a new test to be conducted by an EPA-listed or
state-certified radon tester.
If you decide to accept the seller's test, make sure that the seller
(or whoever took the test) followed the testing Checklist in Section 5(e) and that he or she can
confirm that all the items were followed. If you plan to use the seller's
test, find out as soon as possible from the seller:
- the results of the previous test; and
- who conducted the previous test: the homeowner, a radon professional
or some other person; and
- where in the home the previous test was taken, especially if you
may plan to live in a lower level of the home. For example, the
test may have been taken on the first floor; however, you may want
to live in a basement which is not currently lived in but which
is suitable for occupancy without renovation.
- what, if any, structural changes or alterations have been made
to the house since the test was done. Such changes might affect
If you decide that a new test is needed, you should discuss it with
the seller as soon as possible. If you decide to use an EPA-listed
or state-certified radon tester, contact your state radon office for
a list of radon testing companies.
b. If the home has not yet been tested for radon...
Make sure that a radon test is done as soon as possible. You should
consider including provisions in the contract specifying who should
conduct the test, what type of test to do, when to do the test, and
how the seller and the buyer will share the test results, test costs
and, if necessary, when radon mitigation measures should be taken
and who should pay for them.
Make sure that the test is done in the lowest level of the home suitable
for occupancy. This means the lowest level that you are going to use
as living space which is finished or does not require renovations
prior to use. A state or local radon official or an EPA-listed or
state-certified radon tester can help you make some of these decisions.
If you decide to finish or renovate an unfinished area of the home
in the future, radon tests should be taken before and after the area
is finished. Radon reduction costs could be incurred if high levels
are found in that area. Generally, it is less expensive to install
a radon reduction system before or during renovations rather than
Back to the Table of Contents
YOU ARE BUYING A NEWLY BUILT HOME, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
New homes can be built with radon-resistant features that minimize
radon entry and allow easier fixing of radon problems that could occur
later. These features cost less if installed during construction than
if added to an existing home. In most new homes, use of radon-resistant
features will keep radon levels to below 2 pCi/L.
Builders can incorporate radon-resistant features into the homes
they build. Some states, counties and local jurisdictions may adopt
radon-resistant construction features in their building codes, which
builders must then follow. Radon-resistant construction standards
can be applied depending on the radon potential in a particular area.
Many builders already use radon resistant building features.
New home buyers should ask if radon-resistant construction techniques
have been built into the new home they are considering for purchase.
Buyers should also ask whether information about radon is available.
For custom-built homes, the buyer should discuss radon-resistant features
with the builder, including the cost.
Occupants of newly constructed homes should have their homes tested
for radon. A long-term test will provide a reading that is more representative
of the home's year-round average radon level. However, short-term
tests (as described in Section 5(b)) may be used to determine
if elevated radon levels exist.
Back to the Table of Contents
5. HOW CAN YOU
GET RELIABLE RADON TEST RESULTS?
Even though you cannot see or smell radon,
it is not hard
to find out if you have a radon problem in your
a. TYPES OF RADON DEVICES
Since you cannot see or smell radon, special equipment is needed
to detect it. You can buy radon devices in retail stores when you
want to test your own home, send away for radon devices from EPA-listed
Analytical Service Providers that offer mail order services, or you
can hire an EPA-listed or state-certified radon tester who will test
using radon devices that are appropriate for the situation.
Preventing or Detecting Test Interference
There is a potential for test interference in real estate transactions.
There are a number of ways to prevent or detect test interference
- Print-out report which frequently records radon or decay product
levels to detect unusual swings;
- Motion detectors to determine whether the test device has been
moved or testing conditions have changed;
- Proximity detectors to reveal the presence of people in the room
which may correlate to possible changes in radon levels during the
- Record of barometric pressure to identify weather conditions which
may have affected the test;
- Temperature record to help assess whether doors and windows have
been opened; and
- Taping windows shut to ensure closed house conditions (see Section 5(e)).
Home buyers and sellers should evaluate these and other features
when selecting a radon test alternative. Refer to the "Protocols for
Radon and Radon Decay Measurements in Homes" for information about
radon testing devices and associated device interference features.
Some of the most common radon testing devices are listed below. Because
new testing devices may be listed by EPA or your state, you may want
to check with your state radon office before you test to get the most
Passive radon testing devices do not need power to function. they
include radon detectors such as charcoal canisters, alpha-track
detectors, and charcoal liquid scintillation devices that are
available in hardware stores, drug stores, other stores, and by mail,
and electret ion chamber detectors generally only available
through laboratories. They are exposed to the air in the home for
a specified period of time and then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Both short-term and long-term passive devices are generally inexpensive.
Some of these devices may have features that offer more resistance
to test interference or disturbance than other passive devices. Professional
radon testers may use any of these devices to measure the home's radon
Active radon testing devices require power to function. Active radon
detectors such as continuous radon monitors and continuous working
level monitors require operation by trained testers. They work
by continuously measuring and recording the amount of radon or its
decay products in the air of the home. Many of these devices provide
a report of this information which can reveal any unusual or abnormal
swings in the radon level during the test period. A professional tester
can explain this report to you. In addition, some of these devices
are specifically designed to deter and detect test interference. Currently,
some of the technically advanced active devices offer the most extensive
device interference features. Although these tests may cost more,
they may ensure a more reliable result.
General Information for All Devices:
A state or local radon official can explain the differences between
devices and recommend the ones which are most appropriate for your
needs and expected testing conditions. In addition, EPA's Radon Measurement
Protocols include technical information about the differences between
Make sure the radon device is listed by EPA's Radon Proficiency Program
(RPP) or is state-certified. The device may display the phrase "Meets
EPA Requirements" or "EPA listed." Your state radon office or a radon
tester can tell you more about radon testing devices.
Certain precautions should be followed to avoid interference during
the test period. Refer to the Checklist in Section 5(e) for more information about
how to get a reliable test.
In some areas, companies may offer different types of radon service
agreements. Some agreements let you pay a one-time fee that covers
both testing, and if needed, radon reduction. Contact your state radon
office to find out if these are available in your state.
Radon Test Device Placement
The testing device(s) should be placed in the lowest level of the
home suitable for occupancy. This means testing in the lowest
level currently lived in or a lower level not currently used, such
as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations.
The test should be in a room to be used regularly (like a living room,
playroom, den or bedroom) but not a kitchen, bathroom or laundry
b. LENGTH OF TIME TO TEST
|Whether you test for radon
yourself or hire an EPA-listed or state-certified tester, all
radon tests should be taken for a minimum of 48 hours. A longer
period of testing is required for some devices.
There Are Two General Ways To Test Your Home for Radon:
LONG-TERM TESTING: Long-term tests remain in your home for
more than 90 days. Alpha track, and electret ion chamber
detectors are commonly used for this type of testing. A long-term
test will give you a reading that is more likely to tell you your
home's year-round average radon level than a short-term test. If time
permits (more than 90 days) long-term tests can be used to confirm
initial short-term results between 4 pCi/L and 10 pCi/L. When long-term
test results are 4 pCi/L or higher, EPA recommends fixing the home.
SHORT -TERM TESTING: The quickest way to test is with short-term
tests. Short-term tests remain in your home from two days to 90 days,
depending on the device. There are two groups of devices which are
more commonly used for short-term testing. The passive device group
includes alpha track detectors, charcoal canisters, charcoal liquid
scintillation detectors, and electret ion chambers. The
active device group consists of different types of continuous monitors.
(see Section 5(a) above for more information.)
Because radon levels tend to vary from day to day and season to season,
a short-term test is less likely than a long-term test to tell you
your year-round average radon level. However, if you need results
quickly, short-term testing may be used to decide whether to fix the
c. IF YOU CONDUCT A SHORT-TERM TEST...
If you are testing in a real estate transaction and you need results
quickly, any of the following three ways to conduct Short-Term Tests
are acceptable for determining whether the home should be fixed. Any
real estate test for radon should include steps to prevent or detect
device interference (see Section 5(a)).
|Short-Term Testing Options
||What to do Next
Take an initial short-term test for at least 48 hours. After the
first test has been completed, take a follow-up short-term test
for at least 48 hours.
Take two short-term tests at the same time in the same location
for at least 48 hours.
|Fix the home if the average of two tests is 4 pCi/L
Test the home with a continuous monitor for at least 48 hours.
|Fix the home if the average radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.
d. USING TESTING DEVICES PROPERLY (If You Do the
When you are taking a short-term test, close your windows and outside
doors and keep them closed as much as possible during the test, except
for normal entry and exit. If you are taking a short-term test lasting
less than 4 days, be sure to close your windows and outside doors
at least 12 hours before beginning the test, too. You should not conduct
short-term tests lasting less than 4 days during severe storms or
periods of high winds.
Place the test device at least 20 inches above the floor in a location
where it will not be disturbed and where it will be away from drafts,
high heat, high humidity, and exterior walls. Leave the test kit in
place for as long as the test instructions say. Once you have finished
the test, reseal the package and send it immediately to the lab specified
on the package for analysis. You should receive your test results
within a few weeks. If you need results quickly, you should find out
how long results will take and, if necessary, request expedited service.
|When choosing a short-term testing option...
There are tradeoffs among the short-term test options. One
test followed by another test (sequential) would most likely
give a better representation of the seasonal average. Two tests
taken at the same time (simultaneous) would improve the precision
of this radon test. Both active and passive devices may have
features which help to prevent test interference. Your state
radon office can help you decide which option is the best for
e. EPA'S TESTING CHECKLIST
Follow this Checklist carefully so that you get the most accurate
radon test results. Radon testing is not a complicated process, but
must be done properly. Otherwise, the test results may not be accurate
and more testing may have to be done. Disturbing or interfering with
the test device or closed-house conditions will invalidate the test
results. The seller, or an EPA-listed or state-certified tester, should
be able to confirm that all the items in this Checklist have been
followed. If the tester cannot confirm this, another test should be
Before the radon testing:
||Notify occupants of the importance of
proper testing conditions. Give occupants written instructions
or this document and explain the directions carefully.
||If you conduct the test yourself, use
a radon measurement device listed in EPA's Radon Proficiency Program
(RPP) or certified by your state and follow the manufacturer's
instructions that come with the device.
If you use a testing professional, hire only an EPA-listed
or state-certified individual and ask to see his or her photo
identification. The contractor's identification number should
be clearly visible on the test report.
||The test should include method(s) to prevent
or detect interference with testing conditions or with the testing
||Conduct the radon test for a minimum of
48 hours. Certain devices must be exposed for more than the 48
||Check to see if an active radon reduction
system is in the house. Before taking a short-term test lasting
less than 4 days, make sure the fan, if any, is operating at least
24 hours before the beginning of the test.
||EPA recommends that short-term radon testing,
which lasts for no more than a week in length, be done under closed-house
conditions. Closed-house conditions mean keeping all windows closed,
keeping doors closed except for normal entry and exit, and not
operating fans or other machines which bring in air from outside.
Note that fans that are part of a radon reduction system or small
exhaust fans operating for only short periods of time may run
during the test.
||When doing short-term testing lasting
less than 4 days, it is important to maintain closed-house conditions
for at least 12 hours before the beginning of the test and for
the entire test period. Do not operate fans or other machines
which bring in air from the outside.
During the radon test:
||Maintain closed-house conditions during
he entire time of a short term test, especially for tests shorter
than one week in length.
||Operate the home's heating and cooling
systems normally during the test. For tests lasting less than
one week, operate only air-conditioning units which recirculate
||Do not disturb the test device at any
time during the test.
||If a radon reduction system is in place,
make sure the system is working properly and will be in operation
during the entire radon test.
After a radon test:
||If a high radon level is found, fix the
home. Section 6 of this guide
recommend the next steps you should take, such as contacting a
qualified radon reduction contractor to lower the home's radon
||Be sure that you or the professional radon
tester can demonstrate or provide information to ensure that the
testing conditions were not violated during the testing period.
f. GETTING RELIABLE RESULTS (If You Have A
Professional Radon Tester)
In many cases, home buyers and sellers may decide to have the radon
test done by a professional radon tester. Make sure that the company
or individual(s) you hire is listed in EPA's Radon Proficiency Program
or your state's certification program, if it has one.
EPA's Radon Proficiency Program (RPP) is designed to help you get
reliable radon tests. RPP participants are required to show their
ability to make accurate tests and follow quality assurance and EPA
test guidelines. EPA has provided a list of RPP participants in your
state. These reports list Analytical Service providers (companies
who provide radon test results and testing devices) and listed individuals
in your area who follow EPA's residential radon testing requirements.
Make sure you ask to see the professional radon tester's photo I.D.
|WHAT WILL A PROFESSIONAL RADON TESTER DO?
An EPA-listed or state-certified radon tester knows the
proper conditions, test devices, and guidelines to get a reliable
radon test. A professional radon tester can also:
- Evaluate the home and recommend a testing approach designed
to make sure you get reliable results;
- Explain how proper conditions can be maintained during the
- Emphasize to occupants of a home that a reliable test result
depends on their cooperation because any interference or disturbance
with the test or the closed-house conditions, especially during
short-term testing, will invalidate the test result;
- Analyze and report measurement results to you; and
- Provide an independent test result by someone who is not
involved in the home sale.
Your state radon office may also have information about certification
requirements for professional radon testers. Contact your State
radon office for information about EPA-listed and state-certified
g. INTERPRETING RADON TEST RESULTS
The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L,
and about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air.
The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels
be no more than outdoor levels. While this goal is not yet technologically
achievable for all homes, the radon levels in some homes today can
be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.
|Radon Test Results Measured in Two Different Units
Your radon test results may be reported in either picocuries
per Liter of Air (pCi/L) or Working Levels (WL). If your test
result is in pCi/L, EPA recommends you fix the home if your
radon level is 4 pCi/L or higher. If the test result is in WL,
EPA recommends you fix the home if the working level is 0.02
WL or higher.
Sometimes short-term tests are less definitive about whether the
home is at or above 4 pCi/L. This can happen when your results are
close to 4 pCi/L. For example, if the average of the two short-term
tests is 4.1 pCi/L, there is about a 50% chance that the year-round
average is somewhat below 4 pCi/L. However, EPA believes that any
radon exposure carries some risk; no level of radon is safe. Even
radon levels below 4 pCi/L pose some risk, and you can reduce your
risk of lung cancer by lowering your radon level.
Like other environmental pollutants, there is some uncertainty about
the magnitude of radon health risks. However, we know more about radon
risks than risks from most other cancer-causing substances. This is
because estimates of radon risks are based on studies in humans (underground
miners). Additional studies on more typical populations are under
Your radon measurement will give you an idea of your risk of getting
lung cancer from radon. Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon
depend mostly on:
- The home's radon level; and
- The amount of time you spend in your home; and
- Whether you are a smoker or have ever smoked.
Smoking combined with radon is an especially serious health risk.
If you smoke or are a former smoker, the presence of radon greatly
increases your risk of lung cancer. If you stop smoking now and lower
the radon level in your house, you will reduce your lung cancer risk.
Back to the Table of Contents
6. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU FIND A HIGH RADON LEVEL?
High Radon Levels Can be Reduced
EPA recommends that you take action to reduce your home's indoor
radon levels if your radon test result is 4 pCi/L or higher. It is
preferable to correct a radon problem before placing your home on
the market because then you have more time to address a radon problem.
If elevated levels are found during the real estate transaction, the
buyer and seller should discuss the timing and costs of the radon
reduction, as with any other aspect of the home purchase and sale.
The cost of making repairs to reduce radon depends on how your home
was built and other factors. Most homes can be fixed for about the
same cost as other common home repairs, like painting or having a
new hot water heater installed. The average cost for a contractor
to lower radon levels in a home is about $1,200, although this can
range from $500 to about $2,500.
How To Lower The Radon Level In Your Home
A variety of methods can be used to reduce radon in homes. Sealing
cracks and other openings in the foundation is a basic part of most
approaches to radon reduction. EPA does not recommend the use of sealing
alone to reduce radon because, by itself, sealing has not been shown
to lower radon levels significantly or consistently. In most cases,
systems with pipes and fans are used to reduce radon. Such systems
are called "subslab depressurization," and do not require major changes
to your home. These systems prevent radon gas from entering the home
from below the concrete floor and the foundation. Similar systems
can also be installed in homes with crawl spaces. Radon mitigation
contractors may use other methods that may also work in your home.
The right system depends on the design of your home and other factors.
As with any other house-hold appliance, there would be costs associated
with the operation of the radon reduction system.
Ways to reduce radon are discussed in EPA's "Consumer's Guide to
Radon Reduction." Call your state radon office to get a copy.
You should also test your home again after it is fixed to be sure
that radon levels have been reduced. If your living patterns change
and you begin occupying a lower level of your home (such as a basement)
you should retest your home on that level. In addition, it is a good
idea to retest your home sometime in the future to be sure radon levels
Radon and home renovations
If you are planning any major renovations, such as converting
an unfinished basement area into living space, it is especially
important to test the area for radon before you begin the renovation.
If your test results indicate a radon problem, radon resistant
techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation.
Because major renovations can change the level of radon in any
home, always test again after work is completed.
What services do radon reduction (mitigation) contractors provide?
Contractors who participate and become listed in EPA's National Radon
Proficiency Program (RPP) are qualified to:
- Review testing guidelines and measurement results and determine
if additional measurements are needed;
- Evaluate the radon problem and provide you with a detailed, written
proposal on how radon levels will be lowered;
- Design a radon reduction system;
- Install the system according to EPA Standards and State or local
- Make sure the finished system effectively reduces radon levels
to acceptable levels.
Picking someone to fix your radon problem is much like choosing a
contractor for other home repairs; you may want to get references
and more than one estimate. Call your state radon office for a list
of the names of EPA listed or state-certified radon reduction contractors
in your area. Your state radon office may also have information about
certification requirements for these contractors.
Selecting A Radon Reduction (Mitigation) Contractor
You should use a radon reduction contractor who is listed as being
proficient (in the current National Radon Proficiency Program (RPP))
as a Residential Mitigation Service Provider. This Program tests the
technical knowledge of contractors to ensure that they can correct
radon problems. EPA-listed Residential Mitigation Service Providers
must follow specific guidelines which make certain that their work
meets minimum quality standards. EPA-listed Residential Mitigation
Service Providers carry photo I.D. cards and are listed in the National
RPP Reports. EPA-listed Residential Mitigation Service Providers are
required to pass an initial exam and then follow the Radon Mitigation
Standards. These standards are available from your state radon office.
EPA-listed Residential Mitigation Service Providers are also required
to review radon measurement results before beginning radon reduction
work. In addition, an EPA-listed Residential Mitigation Service Provider
must recommend that the home be tested again by an independent EPA-listed
or state-certified radon measurement service provider after completing
radon mitigation work to confirm that elevated levels have been reduced.
Should the Company Performing Your Radon Test Also be Your
Radon Reduction Contractor?
Be aware that there is potential conflict of interest if
you use the same company to conduct both the test and the radon
mitigation of the home. If the same radon testing professional
also offers to do radon mitigation of the home, make sure that
the testing is done according to the Testing Checklist.
EPA's Radon Proficiency Program works to protect home buyers
and sellers. Make sure you only hire professional measurement
and mitigation contractors who are EPA-listed or state-certified.
Always ask to see the contractor's I.D. card.
You should also consider getting more than one cost estimate
and asking for references from radon measurement and mitigation
companies in your area.
Some states have additional certification requirements, and
may require the homeowner to sign a waiver if one firm conducts
both radon measurements and mitigations. Contact your state
Radon in Water
Compared with radon entering the home through soil, radon entering
the home through water in most cases will be a small source of risk.
Radon gas can enter the home through well water. It can be released
into the air you breathe when water is used for showering and other
household uses. Research suggests that swallowing water with high
radon levels may pose risks, too, although risks from swallowing water
containing radon are believed to be much lower than those from breathing
air containing radon.
While radon in water is not a problem in homes served by most public
water supplies, radon has been found in well water. If you have tested
the air in your home and found a radon problem, and your water comes
from a well, have the water tested. If you are on a public water supply
and are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the
water, call your public water supplier. The testing device and procedures
used to find out the radon levels of your home's water supply are
different from the device and procedures used to test your home's
indoor air levels for radon.
Radon problems in water can be readily fixed. The most effective
treatment is to remove radon from the water before it enters the home.
This is called point-of-entry treatment. Treatment at your water tap
is called point-of-use treatment. Point-of-use devices usually only
treat a small portion of your water and are not effective in reducing
radon risk in water.
If high radon levels are found and the home has
a well, you can find publications and documents developed by EPA's
Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water relating to radon in drinking
water and the radon in drinking water rule at http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW/radon/radon.html.
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8. WHERE CAN YOU GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RADON?
For more information on how to reduce your radon health risk, go
to EPA's Radon Home Page, or ask your state radon office to send you
these guides (the complete list of Radon-related publications is available
- Protocols for Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurements in Homes
(call your state radon contact for a copy of the protocols).
- Citizen's Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon
- Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
If you plan to make repairs yourself, be sure to contact your state
radon office for a current copy of EPA's technical guidance on radon
reduction, "Radon Reduction Techniques for Detached Houses -- Technical
Contact the EPA's Drinking Water Hotline (1 800 426-4791) for information
on radon in water.
SURGEON GENERAL HEALTH ADVISORY "Indoor radon
gas is a national health problem. Radon causes thousands of
deaths each year. Millions of homes have elevated radon levels.
Homes should be tested for radon. When elevated levels are confirmed,
the problem should be corrected."
|Consumers need to know about the health of a house they are
considering purchasing, including whether there is a radon problem,
and if so, how to fix it. The Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide
to Radon provides practical consumer information that every home
buyer needs to know.
Consumer Federation of America
You can call your State Radon Contact for a free copy of this guide.
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