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3 Saber Way

PO Box 8351

Ward Hill, MA 01835

1-800-581-0212


Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Radon

  1. What is radon?
  2. How do I know if I have radon in my home?
  3. What is the risk associated with radon?
  4. Where should I test for radon gas?
  5. What is an acceptable level for radon gas?
  6. Can a radon problem be fixed?
  7. How important are post mitigation tests?
  8. If I make improvements to my house such as an addition or structural changes should I retest?

1.  What is radon?

Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Any home can have a radon problem. In the U.S. it is estimated that nearly 1 out of 15 homes has an elevated radon level.

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2.  How do I know if I have radon in my home?

Testing is the only way to know if you are at risk. Radon gas is invisible and odorless. Both long and short-term testing devices are available. A homeowner should consult a radon professional to determine what type of test is best suited for his situation.

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3.  What is the risk associated with radon?

Radon gas increases the risk of getting lung cancer. Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon gas depend on factors such as the home’s radon level, the amount of time you spend in your home and whether you are a smoker or have ever been a smoker. Recent studies estimate that between 15,400 to 21,800 deaths per year are attributable to radon gas.

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4.  Where should I test for radon gas?

The test should be conducted in the lowest livable level of the house, which is usually the basement. The test kit should be placed at least two feet above the floor. All windows and outside doors on the level you are testing should be closed during the test period.

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5.  What is an acceptable level for radon gas?

The current U.S. EPA guideline is a radon gas level lower than four picocuries per liter of air (4pCi/L). In Canada the federal government has recommended that the Canadian acceptable level for radon should be 800 becquerels per cubic meter of air (800 Bq/m3). If your test results are at or above the government acceptable level a radon mitigation system should be considered.

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6.  Can a radon problem be fixed?

Yes. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels. A radon professional is qualified to evaluate and install a system to solve the problem. In most cases these systems involve the installation of a fan and ducting to help prevent radon gas from entering your home. The fan operates continuously; duct work runs from below the basement floor to above the roofline where the radon gas is safely discharged. Generally these systems are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible. The radon mitigation contractor will design the best system for your home.

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7.  How important are post mitigation tests?

Very important. It is the only way to know if your system is working effectively. The radon professional will leave instructions on how to prepare for and conduct this post-mitigation test.

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8.  If I make improvements to my house such as an addition or structural changes should I retest?

Yes, as these changes may affect radon gas levels. Re-testing after the completion of any construction is recommended. It is also advisable to consult a radon professional prior to any construction.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: The "Radon Reduction Program" is available to authorized homebuyers during the first year after closing on the property, provided the homebuyer has returned an executed service agreement to RMS and completed an approved radon test within this first year.  For more information contact Radon Management Services.