Are you just moving into a new home or apartment? Radon is a big issue that you need to be considering when choosing that new living space.
When you’re looking for a realtor, it might be a good sign if the realtor knows a little something about radon. If not, you might not be able to trust the information you’re being provided. First and foremost, ask the realtor the radon levels in the living space. Then ask to see the results, if possible. Next, ask how the space was mitigated and if it’s maintained on a yearly basis.
Why Does Radon Need Maintenance?
Since the soil changes, the foundation shifts, air pressure adjusts, or you’ve had your basement waterproofed– it might be a great time to retest your home’s radon levels. All of these items can affect your home’s levels and if you’re unsure of any changes then you might as well pick up a test at the local hardware store and have the peace of mind that everything is okay.
How Much is Okay?
The good part about all of this is that radon testing is simple and easy. The not so good part is that there technically isn’t a “safe” level of radon in a home. Due to the way a home actually traps the radon within its inner walls, your home is disallowing the radon from escaping and thus the concentration is much higher and more influential than if it came and passed through.
The least amount of radon your radon mitigation expert can obtain, the better. The Environmental Protection Agency has set a standard call for action at a level of 4.0 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) and the average indoor level across the U.S. is below that. In fact it’s about a fourth of that. However, this means that many homes are quite low and many homes are significantly high.
The World Health Organization (WHO) actually states that no level of radon is healthy because many of the known radon-induced cases are actually caused by low to moderate levels. Thus, this reiterates the importance of maintaining the lowest possible radon level within your home.
As long as your home is below 4.0 pCi/L, you should have some peace of mind. However, be sure to ask your contractor to do all he/she can to get it as low as possible. Because of some home’s construction, they actually can’t be reduced any further than their current state. Thus, it becomes very important when buying a home. You don’t want to try and sell a home with high levels of radon gas.
How Does Radon Compare to X-Ray Radiation?
Some people like to think that radon really isn’t that bad and that it’s all a whole lot of talk and no proof.
Take a look at these statistics.
The radiation in a 4.0 pCi/L level of radon is equal to the radiation from 100 chest x-rays. The number of chest x-rays permitted by most hospitals is what makes that number all the more interesting. Most hospitals actually only allow people to have four chest x-rays each year. That’s.16 pCi/L per x-ray and.64 pCi/L a year. In other words, can you understand why the WHO has their action level at 2.7 pCi/L?