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Understanding Radon Testing and Expert Recommendations

A test is necessary to know whether your need a radon mitigation system. Considering that radon is invisible and cannot be smelled, you need special equipment to know if it is present.

There are two types of radon tests, depending on the devices employed – passive testing and active testing.

Passive Testing

To make passive radon testing devices function, you don’t need power. Charcoal liquid scintillators, charcola canisters, electret ion chamber detectors and alpha-track detectors are examples of such devices. In general, passive radon devices – both long-term and short-term – are priced cheap.

Active Testing

As opposed to passive testing, devices used for active testing testing devices, which provide hourly as as well as full test readings, need power to run. Such devices include continuous working level and continuous radon monitors, and they make this type of testing pricier.

What Exactly Is Radon Testing?

Approach a state or local official to help you understand the differences between radon devices, and to get recommendations as to which are best for your needs and anticipated testing conditions. Make it a point to obtain your radon testing device from a qualified laboratory. More radon exposure means more chances of getting lung cancer. Therefore, by hiring a radon-certified contractor to install a radon mitigation system in your home, you are saving your family’s life.

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 typical house, 0.016 WL is equal to around 4 pCi/L.

At this level, experts would recommend a radon abatement system. The U.S. Congress has instituted a long-term goal of keeping radon levels indoors lower than outdoors. Around pCi/L is generally found in outdoor air. EPA recommends mitigation measures if you get a result of 4 pCi/L (0.016 WL) after one long-term test or as an average of two short-term tests.

With present technology, the radon level of most homes can now be reduced to 2 pCi/L or even lower. For a 2-4 pCi/L radon level reading, you may consider radon mitigation as well. For a short-term radon test, expect it to remain in your house for a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 90 days; for a long-term test, you can expect the period to extend 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.

Radon Testing Recommendations from EPA

There are two radon testing categories 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 covers homeowners who have no plans of selling their homes, and the other covers radon testing and reduction in real estate deals.

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