It’s the Law! According to the Indiana Radon Rule, 410 IAC 5.1, everyone who is serving Indiana by doing radon testing, analysis and mitigation in residential structures must be certified by the Indiana State Department of Health (Effective July 1, 1994).
Popham Construction Company’s Radon Testing & Mitigation service is certified by:
Indiana State Department of Health – Lead and Healthy Homes (Radon Mitigator License) – RTM00773
Indiana State Department of Health – Lead and Healthy Homes (Primary Radon Tester License) – RTP00861
In addition, Popham Construction Company’s Radon Testing & Mitigation service is certified nationally:
National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) certification (Residential Mitigation Provider) – 108295 RMT
National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) certification (Residential Measurement Provider) – 109196 RT
Radon testing is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Toxicology Program, National Safety Council, and The World Health Organization.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Because the air pressure inside a house is typically lower than the pressure in the soil around its foundation, radon is drawn into the home through cracks in the foundation and other openings. Radon gas can build up to dangerous levels inside any home whether it’s old or new, sealed or drafty, and with or without a basement. Your home’s radon levels can be different than levels in your next door neighbor’s home. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to have your home tested.
In Southwestern Indiana, 1 in 3 homes has elevated radon levels.
Source: Indiana Department of Environmental Management radon gas initiative.
Radon exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer (behind smoking) and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. The American Cancer Society has linked radon exposure to blood cancer in women. Don’t let radon affect your health. Radon exposure is preventable!
People with young children should be more concerned with the possible consequences of radon exposure 20 years from now than someone in their late sixties or seventies. Compared to adults, children are at risk of higher estimated radiation doses because of their lung shape, faster breathing rates, and size differences. If children are also exposed to tobacco smoke, the risk of getting lung cancer increases at least 20 times.
Families with a hereditary predisposition of cancer should be more concerned about radon exposure than families who don’t have any history of cancer.
Cigarette smokers should keep their exposure to radon as low as possible. Smokers have eight times the risk from radon as non-smokers.
Testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels. There are no immediate symptoms that will alert you to the presence of radon. It typically takes years of exposure before any problems surface. Low-level radon exposure over time is more harmful than short periods of high-level exposure.
Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter, or pCi/L. Levels of 4 pCi/L or higher are considered hazardous. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and in many cases can be reduced, although it is difficult to reduce levels below 2 pCi/L. The World Health Organization recommends 2.7 as a safe level.
Popham follows EPA guidelines and offers our clients the option of a short- or long-term test. The EPA recommends performing a reliable short-term test for radon. If that test comes back below the EPA Action Level (4.0 pCi/L), then no further immediate action is warranted. However, the home should be tested again after any air sealing work, heating/air conditioning system changes or foundation modifications. If the short-term test returns with a radon value of 4.0-10.0 pCi/L, the EPA recommends performing a long-term test to gauge the home’s annual radon concentration. The results of the long-term test should be used to determine the necessity of radon mitigation. Another option is to conduct a second short-term test if quicker results are desired. If the first short-term test returns above 10.0 pCi/L, then the EPA recommends performing a second short-term test to verify the results and using the average of the two short-term tests to determine the necessity of radon mitigation.
Popham uses an electronic CRM (continuous radon monitor) to test for radon. It can be used for short-term and long-term testing. A specialist will place the CRM is the best location in your house, and will make sure you’re informed of the requirements of accurate testing (such as keeping windows closed, etc.) The CRM has the highest accuracy and precision over short measurement periods. Our radon testing procedure cost starts at $150 and may increase if additional tests are needed. Most DIY kits available are short-term and use charcoal to capture particles. They cannot accurately access all of the variables that contribute to radon levels. In fact, Consumer Reports states that “some radon kits we tested underreported radon levels by almost 40 percent.”
Following completion of the test, the specialist will immediately print a report of the CRM data, which includes hour-by-hour readings of radon levels as well as the maximum level, minimum level, and overall average levels in the house during the test. Indoor radon levels are affected by barometric pressure, strong winds, rain-soaked ground, snow cover, seasonal changes, heating, and A/C systems, house construction, open windows, and other factors. The CRM can indicate the impact of various factors by graphing the levels. The specialist will explain the report and discuss options if needed.
The CRM will alert us if the monitor has been tampered with during the test. This can be important in real estate transactions to be sure that the test results are accurate.
Popham installs both inside and outside radon reduction systems. The scope of the work depends on the level of gas and the style of your house, but it’s fairly simple and not overly expensive. Houses are generally categorized according to their foundation design. Some houses have more than one foundation design feature. For instance, it is common to have a basement under part of the house and to have a slab-on-grade or crawlspace under the rest of the house. In these situations, a combination of radon reduction techniques may be needed to reduce radon levels to below 4 pCi/L. The cost of making repairs to reduce radon is influenced by the size and design of your home and other factors. Most radon can be reduced for about the same cost as common home repairs or the cost of a new appliance with a limited life span. Consumer Reports advises: “Find a qualified pro. Radon-removal systems cost in the range of $1,200 – 2,500. Overexposure is symptom-free, and once you’re exposed, there’s no treatment.” Remember that the most important issue is the health of your family. It’s a small price to pay to ensure that your family is safe from high levels of radon gas.
Similar to a furnace or chimney, radon reduction systems need some occasional maintenance. You should look at your warning device on a regular basis to make sure the system is working correctly. Fans may last for five years or more (manufacturer warranties tend not to exceed five years) and may then need to be repaired or replaced. Replacing a radon fan may cost around $500 or so, including parts and labor. It is a good idea to retest your home at least every two years to be sure radon levels remain low.
Because radon in indoor air is the larger health concern, the EPA recommends that you first test the air in your home for radon before testing for radon in your water. If elevated levels of radon are found in the air, and your water comes from a private well, your water should be tested.
Municipal water in our area comes from a surface water source, thanks to the Ohio River. Most radon in surface water is released to the air before it reaches your tap.
By building radon-resistant new homes, builders and contractors provide a public health service — helping to reduce buyers’ risk of lung cancer from exposure to radon in indoor air. The cost of including these features is typically less than the cost to mitigate the home after construction. Popham can install a passive radon system into your home to help reduce the risk of ever having a radon problem. You’ll never even know the system is there because we will install it within the walls of your home.
For a free estimate, please phone (812) 479-5850 or use our quick contact:A licensed and certified radon professional will assist you in making an informed decision as well as answer any questions you might have.