Radon Information and Testing

Radon is the main source of ionizing radiation to which most of us are exposed. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that is produced by minerals like uranium and radium in the soil. Ionizing radiation can harm the cells that make up our body's tissues and organs. The type of radiation that radon produces is mainly an internal hazard and it produces damage when it gets into the body. The result of such damage is that radon causes lung cancer in humans. Radon is a known human lung carcinogen and is the largest source of radiation exposure and risk to the general public. Most inhaled radon is rapidly exhaled, but the inhaled decay products readily deposit in the lung, where they irradiate sensitive cells in the airways increasing the risk of lung cancer. The National Academy of Sciences' Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VI Report (1998) concluded that radon causes between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year in this country. The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to smoking. For nonsmokers in this country, radon is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer.

Radon gets into the indoor air primarily from soil under homes and other buildings. As air in your house heats up, it rises and leaks out of attic openings and around the upper floor windows, creating a small suction at the lowest level of the house. That suction pulls the radon out of the soil and into your house. Fortunately, there are extremely effective means of keeping radon out of your home. Qualified contractors can typically mitigate radon problems for a cost similar to that for many common home repairs such as painting or having a new water heater installed - anywhere from $800 to $2,500.

Important facts you need to know:

Estimated lung cancer deaths per year in Pennsylvania due to residential radon exposure is between 860 - 3,800.

An estimated 40% of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels greater than the EPA guideline of 4 pCi/L.

Forty-nine of Pennsylvania's 67 counties have a predicted average indoor level greater than 4 pCi/L.

About 270,000 single homes in Pennsylvania, with about 750,000 occupants, are expected to have radon levels greater than 20 pCi/L (over five times greater than the EPA action level of 4 pCi/L).

Only about 10% of homes in Pennsylvania have been tested.

It's not hard to find out if you have a radon problem in your home. All you need to do is have a test performed for the levels present.  Pennsylvania law requires that all third-party persons performing radon testing, mitigation or laboratory analysis in Pennsylvania be certified. 

I am certified in the state of Pennsylvania to test for Radon.  The test takes only 2-3 days to conduct and will provide you with the information you need regarding the levels present in your home.  I use the EPA approved E-Perm Ionization Chamber/Electret method, which allows me to have the results to you within 24 hours or less.  The cost of the test is minimal when weighed against the potential harm that Radon can cause to you and your family.  The cost of the test is minimal for the peace of mind you will have knowing the levels in your home are safe, or need to be reduced.  It really is a matter of life and death.

To schedule a test, click on the "Book An Inspection" link and fill in the information, or call me directly at (717) 578-3010.

Bob Huska
BH Home Inspection-York

Certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors - Click here to verify.