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Smith Persinger Home Inspectors

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 Radon Testing 
 What is Radon?

Radon is an INVISIBLE and ODORLESS RADIOACTIVE GAS which occurs naturally from decaying uranium underneath the earth's surface. Though you cannot see, smell or taste radon, it is there and may be a problem in your home or office. When trapped inside an enclosed space, it can reach dangerous and often deadly levels. Continuous inhalation of radon gas damages lung tissue causing lung cancer and long-term exposure may even cause death.

 Am I at Risk?

It is estimated that radon kills between 5,000 and 30,000 people each year. Nearly 1 in 15 homes re estimated to have elevated levels of radon. Radon gas is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Radon can show up in any home or office. You may have radon in your home or office even if your neighbor does not.

 The risk of developing lung cancer from Radon exposure can increase depending on:
  1. The level of radon in your home or office;

  2. The amount of time you have spent exposed to radon;

  3. Whether you are a smoker or have ever been exposed to tobacco smoke.

Cigarette smokers who have radon concentrations of 10pCi/L or higher increase their chance of developing lung cancer by as much as 18 times or 1800%.

 How Does Radon Get Into My Home Or Office?

The greatest concentration of radon is usually found in the lowest level of homes or offices. This is because radon is found in the soil and rocks beneath the foundation. If you have dirt floors in the basement, cracks in the foundation, or openings from a sump pump hole or drain, radon is likely to build up quicker and in higher concentrations. Radon can also enter your home or office through your water supply (i.e. shower, dishwasher, washing machine, etc.). If your home or office uses well water, we suggest testing with our professional Radon in Water Test Kit.

 Protection.Testing Is Your First Line of Defense!

To find out if radon gas is a problem in your home or office, you must conduct a radon test!

The PRO-LAB Radon Gas Test Kit is the most accurate and reliable radon test kit available for checking the level of radon gas in your home or office. The PRO-LAB Radon Gas Test Kit provides two (2) desiccated, short-term detectors which allow you to conduct side-by-side testing in order to get the most accurate and reliable results.

 Radon Is Measured In Picocuries Per Liter (pCi/L)

An acceptable level of radon is 4(pCi/L) or less. If the average of your two test results are higher than 4(pCi/L) you should take some action to reduce the radon level in your home or office.

S&P Engineering, Inc. recommends that you conduct a radon test every year. Annual testing is the best way to determine whether or not your home or office has the potential for a radon problem.


 If Test Results Are High?

There are ways to reduce the level of radon yourself or by a trained professional. Costs should run between $500-$2,500 depending on the seriousness of your problem. Start by doing the following and then contact your State Radon Office or EPA Office for additional information on reducing Radon in your home or office:

  • Seal or caulk areas of entry such as cracks, holes and openings;

  • Keep vents to crawl spaces open;

  • Minimize time spent in low areas such as your basement;

  • Increase the circulation of outside air into your home or office;

  • Discourage cigarette smoking in your home or office.

Read NABIE's Position Paper "Licensing of Professional Engineers and Architects as Home Inspectors"




In Wheeling S & P Engineering, Inc. In Pittsburgh
39 High Point Lane
Wheeling WV  26003
Copyright 2001 S&P Engineering, Inc.
17 Bell Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15205