Radon Testing and EPA Recommendations
A test must be conducted to determine if you need a radon mitigating system. Considering that radon is invisible and cannot be smelled, you need special equipment to know if it is present.
Depending on the devices used, radon tests come in two types – passing and active.
To make passive radon testing devices function, you don’t need power. Such devices can include alpha track detectors, electret ion chamber detectors, charcoal liquid scintillators and charcoal canisters. In general, passive radon devices – both long-term and short-term – are priced cheap.
In contrast to passive testing, active testing uses devices that provide hourly readings as well as average results for the entire test period, thus requiring power to function. These devices, which include continues radon monitors and continuous working level monitors, tend to make this type of testing more costly.
What Exactly Is Radon Testing?
It’s good to approach a state or local official to gain knowledge of the differences among various radon devices and what’s best for your particular needs and requirements. Be sure to get a radon testing device from a qualified laboratory. The greater your radon exposure, the higher your risk of getting lung cancer. Thus having a radon mitigation system installed by a radon-certified contractor can be a lifesaver.
The amount of radon present in the air is typically measured as picocuries of radon per liter of air (pCi/L). Sometimes, the results of a radon test can be expressed in Working Levels (WL) rather than pCi/L. In a usual household, the equivalent of 0.016 WL is around 4 pCi/L.
A radon abatement system should be in order at such a level. The U.S. Congress is aiming to keep indoor radon levels less than outdoor. Outside air normally has around 4 pCi/L. If your house gets a single long-term test result or a two short-term test average result of 4 pCi/L (0.016 WL) or more, EPA recommends mitigating steps.
Present technology allows the reduction of most homes’ radon level to 2 pCi/L or even less. If your level is from 2 to 4 pCi/L, you can also consider radon mitigation. A short-term radon test stays in your home for 2-90 days, while a long-term test can be in your home beyond three months. Each radon test should be taken for at least 48 hours. Quicker results can be expected from shorter-term tests; longer term tests, on the other hand, give you a better understanding the average radon level of your home throughout an entire year, and tells you whether a radon abatement system is necessary.
Two radon testing categories are recommended by the EPA. One is for homeowners whose house is not for sale, and the other is for radon testing and reduction in real estate deals. One is for radon testing and reduction in real estate deals, and the other is for homeowners with no intention to sell their houses.
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