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Common FAQ's about Radon

What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that is found in homes. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air we breathe.

What does Radon do?
Radon is a Class A Carcinogen that causes lung cancer.

Why are we testing your home?
Your prospective buyer requested that the house be tested as part of the inspection agreement.

Is there Radon in your home?
Yes. All homes have some Radon. Regardless whether the home is old, new, large, small, with a basement, or built over a crawlspace or slab foundation - all homes have Radon. In some homes Radon levels can be elevated to levels that significantly increase the incidence of lung cancer. The only way to know if your home has elevated levels is to
test.

What is a ‘normal’ Radon level?
As with all carcinogens, the lower the level of exposure, the better. Outdoor levels are 0.4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/l), and indoor levels vary. The average indoor Radon level in the U.S. is 1.3pCi/l. The EPA and the Illinois Division of Nuclear Safety (DNS) say that levels under 2.0pCi/l are ideal and levels 3.9pCi/l and below are acceptable. The EPA and DNS recommend that action be taken to lower Radon levels at 4.0pCi/l or above.

Why does my whole house have to be closed? The test is only in my basement.
Air travels though your home in many ways that you may not consider, especially though ducts and chases. By opening windows in the rest of your home you can depressurize the home. This may elevate Radon levels in the basement.

I though this was a 48 hours test…Why is this test still going on? Can I open up my house now that 48 hours has passed?
The minimum testing period is 48 hours. The 48 hours test can only be done if proper Closed Building Conditions were maintained 12 hours prior to the start of the test. When that is not the case, the test MUST be extended by at least 12 hours. A test is never over until the monitors are retrieved and the Closed Building Conditions must be
maintained until they are picked up.

Why did you put the monitor in that room?
In Illinois, we are required to place a monitor on each different foundation type in the home. This means that a home with a basement, crawlspace, and room on slab will likely require three monitors (some types of rooms are exempt from testing). In the even that the room we need to test is in a child’s room or play area, we will do out best to keep it out of the way.

Is your test equipment harmful to children or pets?
No. Our Radon monitors do not emit anything. They are a specialized type of Geiger counter which measures alpha particles of radiation. They log the hourly Radon levels, as well as the average for the testing period. They also document any touching, bumping, or power interruptions to the monitor.

What can I do if my home has a high Radon level?
All homes can be fixed. A licensed Radon mitigation professional will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your home.

 

 A group of teens at Wheaton North High School are helping spread the message about radon's health hazards across Illinois through a 60-second YouTube video they produced and submitted to the "2010 Illinois High School Radon Video Contest."

Congratulations on creating the winning video.