Radon testing

By
Home Inspector with Inside Out Home Inspections LLC

I want to share a heart-breaking story. I hope that the advice below will help save you or a loved one from lung cancer.

I was recently called to do a radon test in an older home. The owner had done a test from a Home Depot kit and it came back at 13 pCi/l. The EPA recommended max is 4 pCi/l. Unfortunately, his wife has stage IV lung cancer and is past what any treatment can do for her. She is a non-smoker and never worked around any known carcinogen such as asbestos so the most likely culprit is extended exposure to high levels of radon gas. Because the house has two wings that were added on, I used three of my continuous monitors, 1 in the basement, and the other two upstairs in the living areas. The basement reading confirmed the initial test kit result. The readings in the living areas were also elevated.

He has been checked for lung cancer and is in the clear. He is planning on having a radon mitigation contractor install a system as soon as possible.

I guess the moral of the story is get a radon test done. Elevated levels of radon gas occur in all 50 states, obviously more in some areas than others. But since radon gas is odorless, colorless and invisible, the only way to know your potential exposure is to get the test done, before it is too late. Take the time to get the radon test done, either from a licensed professional or at least use the DIY kit. A mitigation system is a small investment to help avoid a preventable tragedy.

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