Radon Poisoning and Radon Testing

If you are not already familiar with the dangers of radon poisoning, then you do not know that each year in the United States about 20,000 people die each year from radon poisoning – usually in the form of lung cancer.

Radon is a natural, colorless, odorless, and radioactive gas that is created from the breakdown of uranium found in rocks, soil, and water. Since the air pressure of homes and buildings are lower than pressure in the soil, the house can essentially act like a vacuum, bringing up radon from the soil through cracks and openings in the house’s foundation. Traces of radon have been found in well water, which can come into the home of families that use it for showering, rinsing, or drinking.

Testing

The EPA suggests all the levels under the third floor of a house be tested for radon. There are two main ways to test your house for radiation:

Home kits: These kits usually range from $15 to $30. Charges usually come with a laboratory analysis fee. You should never buy a radon kit from a sold from a website or store that is not DEP-certified.

Radon tests are performed in the lowest level of the house or building – the basement would show the highest signs of radon.

Radon Testers: Testers will use equipment similar to home-kits and abide by DEP standards.

Mitigation

Removal of radon actually takes place during mitigation, and should been done by a professional and only by a professional. The mitigation process is simply the decrease of the amount of radon inside an establishment. The EPA recommends a state-certified or other qualified radon mitigation expert to bring radon levels down in a home or building. You can check your state to find state-certified mitigation contractors in your area. With states with no radon regulation, be sure to hire only contracts with credentials in radon removal.

The Contract

Like any other business, it is good to see in writing what will be done before it is actually done so that you know what you are paying for and to clear any disputes that might occur after the job is performed. Only go with a contractor who will meet a certain radon level or will modify their system in order to achieve the level. Contracting costs can range from $800 to $2500, depending on the building and the amount of work needed.