Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer and results in 21,000 deaths a year in the United States. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that naturally occurs in the atmosphere. When Radon naturally decays, it emits radioactive particles that can become trapped in our lungs, causing irreparable damage. Radon has an average outdoor concentration of 0.4 pCi/L. When it becomes trapped in a building, concentrations can increase. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that indoor concentrations of Radon be reduced when they are at or above 4 pCi/L.
The EPA recommends all homes be tested every 5 years if they have never tested at or above 4 pCi/L and every 2 years if the home has tested at or above 4 pCi/L. Homes that have tested high for indoor concentrations of Radon can be corrected.
Radon testing can be conducted using either short-term or long-term test devices. During the sale of a property, time is of the essence. Therefore, short-term tests are typically performed for purchase and sale transactions. For residential testing, Kanawha Valley Home Inspections utilizes a Continuous Radon Measurement (CRM) device. This test takes between 2 and 4 days. A test performed with a CRM will provide average hourly readings along with a cumulative average of the Radon concentration in the home. Based on the results of this short-term test, additional testing or mitigation recommendations will be made. This type of test provides a snap-shot of the indoor Radon levels at the time the test was performed. Charcoal kits are used for short-term testing in large buildings and schools.
Because indoor concentrations of Radon can vary greatly due to many factors like seasonal variations, long-term testing can provide a better representation of the average exposure throughout the year. Long-term testing is a test that is performed for greater than 90-days, ideally 1 full year, and is typically performed with alpha-trac, electret, or charcoal kits. Kanawha Valley Home Inspections offers long-term testing through the use of charcoal kits.
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Zone 1: Counties having a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L.
Zone 2: Counties having a predicted average indoor radon screening level between 2 pCi/L & 4 pCi/L.
Zone 3: Counties having a predicted average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L.
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