Radon Gas - the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US.
Radon gas is created when uranium in the soil decays. The gas then seeps through any access point into a home such as cracks in the foundation or basement floor, drain tile and sump, or uncovered soils in crawl spaces. The gas can collect in basements and other low-lying, closed areas. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set 4 pico curies per liter as an action level. Professional correction to lower the radon level is recommended for homes at or over this level.
Radon has been found in homes throughout Colorado. Certain areas are more susceptible than others, but no location is immune. The ONLY way to tell for sure is to have a home tested. SMOKERS see info below. All Colorado counties are in the EPA Zone 1 category (highest risk potential), however, it is not possible to predict radon levels from one home to the next. Testing is recommended for all Colorado homes.
Cancer Survivors against Radon is a source of further information about the health risks of radon.
If you're buying or selling a home, radon can be a important issue. The EPA recommends every house be tested. If test results already exist, make sure they are recent or that the home has not been significantly renovated since the test was performed. If in doubt, get a new test done.
Radon testing is NOT required, but a radon disclosure may be required to be presented to home buyers.
We offer radon tests. (continuous radon monitor for 48 hours). Roger Hankey is a Minnesota licensed radon measurement professional and National Radon Proficiency Program listed. See the NRPP consumer checklist for radon testing. Not all radon measurement firms follow the NRPP protocols for quality assurance (annual instrument calibration and performance tests), and not all firms have certified measurement professionals to conduct the tests.
HOME OWNERS: If you will be selling your home in the next year or so, you can conduct a LONG TERM test prior to listing your home for sale. An ideal long term test is done for a full year, to average out the daily and seasonal variations in indoor radon levels. These low cost tests, known as Alpha Trac, are available online.
Individuals holding a Residential Measurement Provider for Standard and Analytical Services have demonstrated knowledge of U.S. EPA radon measurement protocols for the placement and retrieval of radon measurement devices. They have also demonstrated knowledge of the proper interpretation of results obtained in residential settings. Furthermore, these individuals possess and analyze radon measurement devices. Depending upon the specific device, this may allow for rapid provision of test results. The testing professional may also be able to characterize trends in radon concentration and determine unusual conditions arising from such influences as weather changes or occupant tampering of a test. To obtain this additional classification, individuals follow strict quality assurance and quality control guidelines and device specific protocols, and calibrate each instrument annually.
If radon levels are elevated, mitigation options are:
Sub-slab suction - to remove radon from below the basement floor.
Air to Air Heat Exchanger to ventilate the house (may not lower radon to below 4.0 piCu/l)
Both options are readily installed, and cost about $1200 - $2000.
A secondary benefit of sub-slab suction systems is cost effective basement dehumidification.
If you are a tobacco smoker, your lung cancer risk factor from smoking multiplies with the cancer risk factor from radon. Therefore, smokers should ALWAYS get radon tests when purchasing a home. For more information, visit the EPA web site on radon at https://www.epa.gov/radon.