We get a lot of question about radon. The most common answer is “Yes, we sometimes see high results in that area!”
So, what do this years numbers look like? Well, we did 249 Radon Tests this year. 66 of the tests were high. That is 26.5% !!! The EPA says anything over 3.9 piC/l is too high for prolonged human exposure, does cause cancer, and needs to be remediated.
Lets break the numbers down a bit and examine the positive and the negative.
- up to 3.9pCi/l 171 homes
- 4.0-7.9 pCi/l 31 homes
- 8.0-11.9 pCi/l 15 homes
- 12.0-18.9 pCi/l 8 homes
- 16.0 pCi/l and above 12 homes
- Highest result 41.5 pCi/l in Inglewood
1st positive point – We tested 171 homes that are considered safe for the period tested. Some of the results maintained a safe level of radon for the entire testing period (48 hours +). Some of the homes had unsafe spikes but averaged out to a tolerable level. It is my opinion that if your home spikes to unsafe levels during a 48 hour test, you should consider doing a long term test after you own the home.
2nd positive point – Most of the new construction homes we tested have safe, even very low levels. I said most, not all. I can’t look at my spread sheet and tell you what percentage , but I think I will add a line and keep up with this data for this years radon tests. It is also my opinion that a new home should be retested after a period of time. Be it one year or 5 years, the subterranean conditions change as run off erodes pathways for radon to find its way into a house in time. So, if you got a 48 hour test before you closed on your new home and you feel safe, good. Sleep well at night, but retest again at a later date. The dentist ex-rays your mouth every five years or so because things we can’t see change without our knowledge. The same applies with your home.
3rd positive point – Out of the 420 home inspections Bill performed this year 60% of home buyers opted for a radon test. The percentages are going up. The previous years we did, 224, 174, and 156 radon tests respectively. The down-side of this years data is that 171 homebuyers we did inspections for decided they didn’t want to know about their prolonged exposure to radiation. If our real world results of 26.5% elevated radon results hold true, 45 of these 171 homeowners are currently sleeping in a radiation hot environment. Because we care about our clients, my heart goes out to these people. “Denial” is not a river in Africa! Being ignorant about your exposure doesn’t protect you or your loved ones. That old adage “What you don’t know won’t hurt you” is rediculous. Know your status! 1 in 4 houses is known to cause cancer in Nashville and the surrounding area.
4th positive point – Remediation systems work! We had the privilege of doing the original radon test and retesting some homes after remediation systems were installed by a third party. We consistently saw high levels brought down below the tolerable threshold of 4 pCi/l. We also tested a few homes that had older radon systems installed but tested high and needed further mitigation.
5th positive point – When our clients are informed before they buy the house, they make good decisions. We got feedback from clients who negotiated remediation at the owner’s expense as well as people who walked away from that deal. Knowledge is power and knowing that we empower our clients is gratifying on so many levels.
6th positive point – Awareness about the issue is growing. This is made evident in my earlier example about increased testing ratios and it is furthered by some of our blog statistics for the year. The busiest day of the year was July 5th with 129views. The most popular post that day was A fun conversation about RADON! (Isn’t that an oxymoron?)
One negative point – I offered two free radon tests as our Christmas gift to you. All you have to do is scroll down and suscribe to the blog. Didn’t get any interest. Oh well…
Fare Thee Well 2013! Happy new year. Good luck with your goals I wish you good health!