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National Radon Action Month: Time to Test for High Levels of Radon

By: Kelly Leighton on in

National Radon Action Month is taking place now, and it’s a good reminder for you to check your own home for unsafe levels of radon, as well as remind your clients to check their homes.

Even though you can’t see, touch or taste radon, the threat of high levels remains and it’s imperative to have your home checked regularly. You can test your own home by purchasing a home testing kit at a hardware or home improvement store for about $20 to $30 or you can hire a state-certified testing company. January is an ideal time to test your house for radon, as the property needs to be closed for about 12 hours before the test begins and throughout the remainder of the test to ensure radon is effectively mitigated.

But what is radon? Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that is the result of the decay of radioactive elements, like uranium in rocks and soil. According to the American Cancer Society, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind only smoking. It is estimated that close to 20,000 deaths each year are from radon.

More information can be found by contacting the radon division of the Pennsylvania DEP at (717) 783-3594 or on the EPA website.

Radon Problems? Make Sure Your Inspector Is Properly Licensed

The Pennsylvania Radon Certification Act requires that only specially certified radon testers and mitigators can be used for this purpose. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reports there have been several instances where a non-certified individual performed these services under the guise of being certified and actually raised the radon levels in the home, in addition to causing other issues in the home.

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Radon is an invisible issue in some homes

Pennsylvania doesn’t require radon testing, but that’s the only way to know if a home has higher-than-recommended level of radon, according to Robert Lewis, radon division chief at the Bureau of Radiation Protection in the Department of Environmental Protection.

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