Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer. From the time of diagnosis, between 11 and 15 percent of those afflicted will live beyond five years, depending upon demographic factors. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. Smoking causes an estimated 160,000* cancer deaths in the U.S. every year (American Cancer Society, 2004). And the rate among women is rising. On January 11, 1964, Dr. Luther L. Terry, then U.S. Surgeon General, issued the first warning on the link between smoking and lung cancer. Lung cancer now surpasses breast cancer as the number one cause of death among women. A smoker who is also exposed to radon has a much higher risk of lung cancer.
HOW CAN I TEST FOR RADON?
If you are interested in finding a qualified radon service professional to mitigate (fix) your home:
Contact your state radon contact to determine what are, or whether there are, requirements associated with providing radon services in your state. Some states maintain lists of contractors available in their state or they have proficiency programs or requirements of their own.
Contact one or both of the two privately-run national radon certification programs (listed below alphabetically) that are offering proficiency listing, accreditation, and certification in radon testing and mitigation:
National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP)
Toll Free: (800) 269-4174 or (828) 890-4117
Fax: (828) 890-4161
Email: National Radon Proficiency Program (email@example.com)
National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)
Toll Free: (866) 329-3474
Fax: (914) 345-1169
Email: National Radon Safety Board (info@NRSB.org)
WHAT DO THE TEST RESULTS MEAN?
The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels. About 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. EPA recommends fixing your home if the results of one long term test, or the average of two short term tests, show radon levels of 4 pCi/L
or higher. With today’s technology, radon levels in most homes can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.
A short-term test remains in your home for two to 90 days, whereas a long-term test remains in your home for more than 90 days. All radon tests should be taken for a minimum of 48 hours. A short-term test will yield faster results, but a long-term test will give you a better understanding of your home’s year-round average radon level.
EPA recommends two categories of radon testing. The first is for concerned homeowners or occupants whose home is not for sale, and the second is for real estate transactions. Refer to EPA’s pamphlets: “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon” and “Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon”for more information.
HOW DO I REDUCE RADON IN MY HOME?
EPA recommends that you have a qualified radon mitigation contractor fix your home because lowering high radon levels requires specific technical knowledge and special skills. Without the proper equipment or technical knowledge, you could actually increase your radon level or create other potential hazards and additional costs. However, if you decide to do the work yourself, get
information on appropriate training courses from your state radon office. EPA recommends that you use a certified or qualified radon mitigation
contractor trained to fix radon problems. You can determine a service provider’s qualifications to perform radon measurements or to mitigate your
home in several ways. First, check with your state radon office. Many states require radon professionals to be licensed, certified or registered, and to install radon mitigation systems that meet state requirements. Most states can provide you with a list of knowledgeable radon service providers doing business in the state.
In states that don’t regulate radon services, ask the contractor if they hold a professional proficiency or certification credential, and if they follow industry consensus standards, such as the American Society for Testing and Materials, ASTM, Standard Practice for Installing Radon Mitigation Systems in Existing Low-Rise Residential Buildings, E2121. You can contact private proficiency programs for lists of privately certified professionals in your area. Such programs usually provide members with a photo ID card, which indicates their qualifications and the ID card’s expiration date. For more information on private proficiency programs, visit www.epa.gov or contact your state radon office.
CLOSED HOME CONDITIONS
Important: Closed Home Conditions must be maintained for a minimum of 12 hours prior to the start of the testing period AND throughout the testing period.
Close all exterior windows and doors and keep them closed (except for normal entry and exit) during the entire testing period. Heating and air-conditioning system fans that re-circulate air may be operated normally. DO NOT adjust during the testing period. DO NOT operate fans or other machines which bring in air from outside. Fans that are part of a radon-reduction system or small exhaust fans operating only for short periods of time may run during the test.
We will not conduct short-term tests lasting just 2 or 3 days during unusually severe storms or periods of unusually high winds.
The radon monitor will be placed in the lowest lived-in level of the home (for example, the basement if it is frequently used, otherwise the first floor). It will be placed in a room that is used regularly (like a living room, playroom, den or bedroom) but not your kitchen or bathroom. The monitor will be placed in a central location where it is least likely to be disturbed, away from drafts, high heat, high humidity, and exterior walls.
Please Note: If there are any animals at the property, they MUST be in a contained environment for pickup and placement. We are not responsible for any animals that may remove themselves from the home upon our entry or exit of the property. If we arrive on site and realize they are not contained, we WILL NOT be obligated to place or pick up the monitor. Additional fees will be charged for returning to the site. These fees must be paid prior to rescheduling for placement or pickup and/or release of the report.
RADON MONITOR PICK-UP OPTIONS
After 48 hours (2 days) a Radon Assistant will arrive to pick-up the radon monitor. Standard Pickup times are 10am-2pm Monday through Friday and 9am-12pm on Saturday, unless alternate arrangements have been made with the Radon Assistant. We do not have Sentrilock access at this time.
If the monitor is not available at the scheduled time, a daily fee of $50.00 will apply. If there are any animals at the property, they must be in a contained environment for pickup and placement. There will be an additional $125 charge if animals are not contained upon our entry or exit of the property. These fees will have to be paid prior to release of the report.
Please contact the office or respond to the notification for Pickup Arrangements.
There are 3 available options:
1) If there is a combination code, please provide the code, or
2) Ask the Listing Agent to provide a one day access code, or
3) Anyone with access to the property can place the monitor in a secure location outside for a Radon Assistant and let us know where the monitor has been placed for pickup. Please contact us first if using this option.
Any further questions, please feel free to contact our office at 844-675-8851.
For more information on Radon go to www.epa.gov/radon
(the information provided here is taken from the EPA website)