Access Home Inspection will provide you with a detailed Radon report after testing is complete.
Radon gas is colorless, odorless and undetectable by the average person, but it still is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and claims about 20,000 lives annually. It is tasteless and is a chemically inert radioactive gas. It is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in soil, rock and water. Naturally existing, low levels of uranium occur widely in Earths crust. It can be found in all 50 states. Unless you test for it there is no way of telling how much is present. This gas enters a home through cracks in foundations, poorly sealed pipes, drainage or any other open areas. Once in the home it collects in low lying areas such as basements and builds up over time to dangerous levels. The Environmental Protection Agency has set a threshold of 4 pico curies per liter as a safe level. As people are exposed to the gas over a period of time, it can have a significant and detrimental effect.
A home can be tested two different ways for Radon Gas, active and passive. Active devices constantly measure the levels of radon in a portion of a home. Passive collects samples over a period of time and then is taken away to be analized. If high levels of radon are detected there are several options. Improving ventilation in the areas often is sufficent to solve the problem. In some cases, it may be necessary to seal enter points to the home. Only a professional should engage to ensure that the radon is effectively blocked. The typical radon mitigation system can cost between $700-$2800, according to the EPA.
EPA Map of Radon Zones
The purpose of this map is to assist National, State, and local organizations to target their resources and to implement radon-resistant building codes. This map is not intended to be used to determine if a home in a given zone should be tested for radon. Homes with elevated levels of radon have been found in all three zones. All homes should be tested regardless of geographic location. Important points to note:
All homes should test for radon, regardless of geographic location or zone designation
There are many thousands of individual homes with elevated radon levels in Zone 2 and 3. Elevated levels can be found in Zone 2 and Zone 3 counties.
All users of the map should carefully review the map documentation for information on within-county variations in radon potential and supplement the map with locally available information before making any decisions.
The map is not to be used in lieu of testing during real estate transactions.
The Map was developed using five factors to determine radon potential: indoor radon measurements; geology; aerial radioactivity; soil permeability; and, foundation type. Radon potential assessment is based on geologic provinces. Radon Index Matrix is the quantitative assessment of radon potential. Confidence Index Matrix shows the quantity and quality of the data used to assess radon potential. Geologic Provinces were adapted to county boundaries for the Map of Radon Zones.
Sections 307 and 309 of the Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988 (IRAA) directed EPA to list and identify areas of the U.S. with the potential for elevated indoor radon levels. EPA's Map of Radon Zones assigns each of the 3,141 counties in the U.S. to one of three zones based on radon potential:
Zone 1 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L (pico curies per liter) (red zones)
Zone 2 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level between 2 and 4 pCi/L (orange zones)
Zone 3 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L (yellow zones)
IMPORTANT: Consult the EPA Map of Radon Zones document (EPA-402-R-93-071) before using this map. This document contains information on radon potential variations within counties. EPA also recommends that this map be supplemented with any available local data in order to further understand and predict the radon potential of a specific area. If you have questions about radon in water, see www.epa.gov/radon/rnwater.html or contact your State Radon Coordinator.