Radon is a cancer causing gas and exists naturally in the soil naturally due to the breakdown of uranium over millions of years.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization have established risk-based action levels for radon gas in homes and buildings.
Radon in residential real estate.
Numerous states now require a radon test with every real estate transaction. However, not all states require a radon test when purchasing a new home or building. For example, California does not require a radon test when purchasing a new home or building.
Radon can be a health hazard and EXPENSIVE to fix! The good news is testing the home is relatively easy and does not need to be expensive. If you currently own the home and have not had a radon test, radon testing should be completed.
Radon testing can be completed in two ways: Active Radon Testing Vs Passive Radon Testing.
1. Active Radon Testing uses a Continuous Radon Monitor (CRM) to physically measure (captures air into a machine) the radon content of the air real-time. The CRM can also measure humidity, temperature, pressure, and even tampering. The CRM is the preferred choice for radon testing in a residential real estate transaction and the active CRM testing should be performed by a licensed radon testing company. The active CRM test is a 48-96 hour test. There is no need for a laboratory with a CRM test, radon measurements are instant and can be monitored real-time on a computer. CRM testing can be expensive costing $300 - $1,000 per home.
2. Passive Radon Testing consists of several types of passive apparatus (samples) that sit inside the home for 48-96 hours. The samples collect air passively and are then sent to a laboratory for radon analysis. Passive testing is not expensive and can be purchased as a Do-It-Yourself test kit at Home Depot or online for under $20 per sample.
I Tested my Home. Now What?
Once you have determined your radon levels, it's time to decide if mitigation is warranted. The EPA has developed a risk-based chart to help owners and prospective owners decide if mitigation is appropriate based on their radon test and associated EPA-based health risk.