What is Radon?
A naturally-occurring radioactive gas that enters homes through cracks or openings in the foundation, and has the potential to accumulate in dangerous levels, which can cause lung cancer. It is classified by the EPA as a Class A Carcinogen, and is estimated to be responsible for over 21,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and the 2nd leading cause in smokers.
What constitutes a “dangerous level”?
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). The EPA has set an action level of 4.0 pCi/L, stating that homes testing at or above this level should be fixed/mitigated. Nationwide, 7% of buildings tested were found to be at or above this action level and in Kentucky, 42% were found to contain “dangerous levels” (many counties in Central KY are closer to 65%).
How do “dangerous levels” of exposure equate to smoking?
The EPA estimates that 1.0 pCi/L of Radon in the parts of your home where you spend the most time is the lung damaging equivalent of smoking 2 cigarettes per day. So for example, if your living room contains 4.0 pCi/L, your lungs are experiencing the same effects as if you smoked 8 cigarettes per day. If that number were 15.0 pCi/L (which is not uncommon), the impact on your lungs is the same as if you smoked 30 cigarettes every day.
How do I know my exposure level?
The only way to find out how much Radon you’re being exposed to is to test the lowest lived in area of your home. Two neighbors living side-by-side may very well have vastly different levels of Radon in their homes, so knowing your neighbor’s level does not help you to know what your own exposure might be.
How do I test my house?
If you’re a KY resident, you can get a free test kit from your local health department. These tests are performed over several months, and give a great depiction of the average levels of Radon you’re being exposed to over the course of a year. These types of tests are recommended when time is not a factor. However, in a real estate transaction, time is ALWAYS a factor. By calling in a trained, professional tester, Radon level results can be obtained within 48 hours.
Why choose Rosie to perform my Radon test?
Rosie Home Inspections has been licensed by The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) and performs testing using state-of-the-art equipment (Rad Elec’s E-Perm System), which has been found to be one of the most accurate systems in the business. Aside from being highly accurate when determining Radon levels, it operates in such a way that a lab is not needed to measure the results. This saves up to 72 hours of the home buyer’s precious time, giving them the opportunity to negotiate the responsibility of a mitigation system.
When using Rosie Home Inspections to perform your General Home Inspection, a Radon Test can be added for an additional $150.
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