RADON IN THE HOME
is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that can enter your home from the
ground through cracks in the foundation. A known human carcinogen, radon is the
second leading cause of lung cancer.
has one of the most serious radon problems in the United States. Approximately
40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above Environmental
Protection Agency's action guideline of 4 picocuries per liter.
can search for radon test data by zip code, but hands down, the smartest thing to do is to test your
home for radon, no matter where you live. Protect yourself and your loved ones:
Do a home radon test.
CONTACT THE RADON DIVISION:
Radon Hotline: 800-237-2366
Testing Your Home is easy
Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated
levels of radon. An easy home test kit can be purchased at hardware or home
improvement stores for about $20 to $30. You may also hire a state-certified
testing company. Because radon levels are often highest in the basement,
placing your test there is a good idea. However, radon levels can also be high
above ground, even in homes without basements, so the ground floor is
also a good location to test.
TO DO IF YOUR HOME RADON RESULTS ARE HIGH
your radon test result are higher than 4 pCi/L, consider doing a second test to
confirm the results. If your radon test result is 4-8 pCi/L, you can do a
second long-term (365 days) test to get a better idea of the annual average or
do another short-term test (2-7 days). In either case, if the result is still 4
pCi/L or higher, you should take corrective action to reduce the radon levels
in your home.
a Certified Contractor Install a Radon Reduction System
any of the certified radon mitigation contractors in your area. Use our mitigator list sorted alphabetically by county to find a mitigator
near you. Have them come to your home and give you ideas and estimates for the
installation of a radon reduction system.
installation should take less than a day.
the system has been running for at least 24 hours, the installer should assure
that a post-test is performed to make sure radon levels have been successfully
the System over Time
look at the U-tube manometer that has been installed on the PVC piping of your
system to make sure the fan is running. The fan is running if the levels of
fluid on each side of the glass tube are uneven. If the fluid levels on each
side of the glass tubing are even with each other, the fan may not be working
properly or may be off completely. In this case you should call your installer
to have them look at the fan and system.
second aspect of monitoring your system is performing a radon test, generally
in the basement and preferably during the heating season, once every two years.
DEP CAN HELP
an EPA-funded program, hospitals give parents of newborn children a packet of
information which includes a coupon for a free radon test kit from the DEP.
Results Confirmation: Free Kits
1. All Pennsylvanians who’ve tested their homes
or other buildings for radon and found screening levels greater than 100
picocuries per liter may receive a free short-term confirmation test kit from
the DEP Bureau of Radiation Protection. For this free kit, please call
800-237-2366 or 717-783-3594.
2. If an active (fan-powered) radon mitigation
system has been installed in your home within the last year, you may receive a
free, long-term radon test kit (Alpha Track Detector). Send:
- Proof of system installation
- Copy of post-mitigation test result below 4 picocuries per liter
Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Radiation Protection
P.O. Box 8469
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8467
or fax to Radon Division, 717-783-8965
Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing.
MORE HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR HOMEOWNERS
- The EPA radon website has a lot of information on radon’s health hazards and radon levels, testing, and mitigation.
- The EPA has great information for parents concerned about radon at their children's school.
- The National Academy of Sciences publication on Risk Assessment of Radon in Drinking Water is the most recent authoritative work on the issue of radon in drinking water and its health effects. Scroll down and read the Executive Summary.
- Check out the Resource tab at Radon Leaders, a collaborative web site of the federal government, states, and industry all involved with the promotion of radon awareness.
- The U.S. Geological Survey provides some great basic information on radon and geology.