NOW Is the Time For Homeowners to be Concerned About Radon

Radon gas and its associated dangers are a true concern in Pennsylvania. In fact, the first instance of residential radon was discovered in 1984 in a Pennsylvania home. The Pennsylvania DEP estimates that 40% of all homes in the state harbor levels of radon above the recognized acceptable level of 4.0 pCi/L. Exposure to radon gas is the number one cause of non-smoking related lung cancer and is responsible for approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is recognized as a Class A carcinogen and the US Surgeon General recommends that ALL homes be tested for the presence of radon.

The risk of developing cancer due to radon exposure increases with the concentration of radon in the air and the length of exposure. While no legislation exists in Pennsylvania requiring radon testing, it has become common practice for radon tests to be conducted as part of a real estate transaction. Many Pennsylvania homes have never been tested for the presence ofradon gas and many residents may be unknowingly exposed to a known cancer risk.

A radon test is the only way for a homeowner to determine if dangerous levels of radon exist on a property. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Earlier this year, an eastern Pennsylvania neighborhood was found to have several homes with radon levels over 1000 pCi/L. Without radon testing, these families would have continued to live with this extreme exposure to a known carcinogen, substantially increasing their risk of developing lung cancer.

Certainly, all homeowners should be concerned about the possibility of radon exposure. Devices such as security systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are frequently employed to ensure home safety. However, statistics show that radon is responsible for more deaths per year than many other risks that most individuals fear. Testing for radon and radon mitigation is just as important in all homes as these popular family safety steps.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2002 National Safety Council Reports.

Awareness and action regarding radon and radon mitigation is imperative to the health of all Pennsylvania residents.

Pennsylvania residents should perform a radon test if:
  • a home has never been tested
  • a home is equipped with passive radon mitigation piping
  • major modifications have been made in or around the home
  • properties in the surrounding area are found to have high radon levels.

A passive radon system provides pre-piping for radon mitigation. While some radon may escape through the piping via convection, it is often inadequate to maintain overall safe radon levels within the home. These systems can be activated via the addition of a radon fan.

Major home modifications may create new entry points or collection areas for radon gas and the radon levels in the property can change dramatically.

Radon systems are highly effective in minimizing the risk of residential radon exposure. Even very high levels of radon in a structure can be successfully mitigated by a professionalcertified radon technician. Radon mitigation systems suction radon gas from below the foundation of a building and discharge the gas above the roofline where it quickly and safely dissipates into the atmosphere. The size and age of the home as well as the existing radon level determine the specification of the proper radon mitigation system. Additions to a home and/or crawl spaces add some complexity to a radon mitigation. Typically, fully installed radon mitigation systems range in cost between $800 - $1200.

About the Author

Katherine Fisher is the co-owner and Vice President of SWAT Environmental of Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelors degree from Purdue University in Environmental Sciences and is NRPP certified in radon measurement and radon mitigation.

To purchase a radon test kit or to get a free quote on radon mitigation for your home, contact the experts at SWAT Environmental of Pennsylvania at 1-800-NO-RADON.

Our highly trained professional staff is here to provide you and your customers with the best in radon mitigation services, including:

on 23 July 2015
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