What is the difference between
a safe level of radon and an acceptable level of radon gas?

It is easier to answer what a safe level of radon gas is. Of course that is known to be no raydon gas at all (some people spell it like that. The US EPA has stated, "Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer." An average person is said to receive a higher dose of radiation in an average home, than they do from their combined exposure to all other radiation sources. Click Here to See a US Map of Radon Areas Click Here Radon Kits

Radon gas is a naturally-occurring by-product of decaying Uranium in soil. Depending on where you live, even the radon levels of the air you breathe outside of your home can have radon in it. The national average of outside radon is 0.4 pCi/L. So before you freak out about what is in your house, understand that you are already exposed to this stuff in many ways.

Radon gas outside versus inside

The next part of the question is about what an acceptable level of radon gas is. The US government says, in the Radon Act 51 passed by Congress, that the natural outdoor level of radon gas is the target level for indoor raidon measurements. The US EPA has set an "action level" of 4 pCi/L. Which means that the EPA recommends that you should try to reduce your exposure to radon gas if the measured level is above the outside average level. Of course they aren't going to guarantee that any level is acceptable. They say radon gas is safest when it is zero.

The latest research, as reported (September of 2009) by the World Health Organization, is that the acceptable level should be decreased to 2.7. This means that most of the US is now a Zone 1.

So what amount of radon is safe and what is acceptable?

Well, there is no level of radon gas that is completely safe, according to the EPA. Acceptable becomes what you are willing to accept because there is no law like the one for lead paint. You can measure the level in your own home, or one you want to buy, with a simple kit. (see below). In cases where the level is high, you may want to install some method of mitigation to reduce the risk a simple test will reveal. In the case of marginal results, the decision to mitigate may be less pressing. A simple and relatively inexpensive test kit can give you the information you need to make an informed decision about what level of exists in your house, and then you can decide if that result is acceptable, or if you need to do some mitigation to protect yourself and your family.

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With Water Test Kit

Above you can see a few brands of Radon test kits. Also, there are two mitigation fans and a sump basin. These are included here to help you estimate the cost of a mitigation system. Besides the fan, you would need pipe, an installer, and an understanding of how to install a mitigation system so you can make sure they do it correctly. See the links below (last one has lots of pics and diagrams) for more information about that.



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Here are some helpful radon links to informative web sites
which explain radon, kits, levels, mitigation, parts, and installation.

US EPA web site A Citizen's Guide to Radon Interesting diagrams, movies, and pictures


Radon Map Return to the top of the page.

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