Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels. They also recommend fixing your home if radon levels are confirmed ro be 4 picocuries (pCi/L) or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a rsk, and in many cases may be reduced. If you smoke and your home has high levels of radon, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Select a PA State Certified Contractor
Choose a radon tester that is certified. PA radon testers must pass a comprehensive exam and follow detailed regulations for the administration of radon testing within the state. The PA radon Certification Act requires that anyone who provides any radon related service or products to the general public must be certified by the PADEP Bureau of Radiation Protection. I, Bob Blanchfield, represent that I am fully certified by the PADEP to conduct radon testing in compliance with the requirements of the PA Radon Certification Regulations, certification # 2392.
If you have any questions, comments, or complaints concerning persons who provide radon-related services, please contact the Bureau of Radiation Protection, PADEP, PO Box 8469, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8469, 717-783-3594.
How Radon Enters your Home
Radon is a naturally occurring gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your home's foundation. Because of this difference in pressure, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon through the foundation cracks and other openings. Radon may also be present in well water and can be released into the air in your home when water is used for showering and other household uses. In most cases, radon entering the home through water is a small risk compared to radon entering your home from the soil. In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon, although building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.
What Do Your Radon Test Results Mean?
The amount of radon in the airis measures in "picocuries of radon per Liter of air" or "pci/L". Also, sometimes test results are expressed in "Working Levels" or "WL" rather than picocuries per Liter of air. A level of .02 WL is usually equal to about 4 pCi/L in a typical home.
Why Use a Radon Tester or Testing Device That Meets Pennsylvania Requirements?
Use a radon tester or a testing device that is state certified. At minimum, the testing device must go through the EPA-RMP (Radon Measurement Proficieny) program, which is designed to help assure that consumers get reliable radon measurements. PA certiifed indivivuals must follow quality assurance and EPA measurement procedures, and demonstrate the ability to take reliable measurements using specific devices. The state of Pennsylvania can supply a list of testers and confirm certification through the PADEP, Bureau of Radiation Protection at 1-800-23RADON.
For more information, please contact the Pennsylvania Radon Information Hotline at 1-800-237-2366.