Is a test for radon necessary? This is one of the more common questions we get when booking a home inspection. Our answer, and the answer of the EPA, is an emphatic “Yes!”
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay (breaking down) of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found in different amounts in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon is present outdoors and indoors. It is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from rivers and lakes. It can be found at higher levels in the air in houses and other buildings. Also in water from underground sources, such as well water.
Radon breaks down into solid radioactive elements called “radon progeny” (such as polonium-218, polonium-214, and lead-214). Radon progeny can attach to dust and other particles and can be breathed into the lungs. As radon and radon progeny in the air break down, they give off radiation that can damage the DNA inside the body’s cells.
Even though the EPA has determined that some places are at a higher risk than others (such is the case for Minnesota), all areas are at risk. In general, the EPA has designated 3 radon risk levels and has even produced a national map showing, by county, where the highest and lowest risks are (https://www.epa.gov/radon/epa-map-radon-zones). If a home does test high for radon, mitigation costs in the Twin Cities currently range between $1500 – $2000.
As of January 1, 2019, the Minnesota Department of Health requires a license for anyone who performs a radon test in a building that they do not own or lease. Therefore, Accurate Home Inspections has partnered with Optima Home Inspections LLC in order to continue offering radon measurement service. With the use of AIRTHINGS’ most advanced Continuous Radon Monitor (CRM), the Corentium Pro, Optima Home Inspections LLC can provide speedy and accurate radon measurement services to further assist the client in their purchasing decision.