What you should know about radon screening:
- Radon sampling is called screening.
- Radon gas is a natural phenomenon.
- What are normal screening conditions? This requires some common sense. During the screening process, a finished room or living area does not need to be closed off from the remainder of living space.
- Do not test in a basement if the basement is not designed for future expansion.
What are closed house conditions? Windows and doors should remain closed for 12-hours prior to and during the testing period. Normal coming and going is expected and is acceptable.
What is radon?
Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas. It is also the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Surgeon General’s office estimate radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Since it is difficult to identify any immediate symptoms related to radon exposure, it may take years before health problems appear. So, whether in the workplace, in homes, or in schools, understanding radon is important. This includes learning how radon gets into buildings, its health effects, and ways to reduce its levels.
Having your home tested is the only effective way to determine whether you or your family is at risk of radon exposure.
Screening companies in Georgia is neither licensed nor regulated. Most screening companies have attended classes and most have received certificates stating they have attended a class.
Home inspection screening companies generally use one of two different testing devices. Short term devices or continuous monitoring devices.
The most common short term device used in Georgia is activated carbon (charcoal). These devices are placed in the lowest living level for a specified period of time, generally a minimum of 48-hours after which the devices are packed and shipped to a certified laboratory for analysis.
Long term or continuous monitors allow the screener to obtain on site hourly readings and produce an on site report at the end of the testing period, generally 48-hours..
Pros and cons: Electronic testing devices provide detailed information gathered by a machine that requires periodic calibrating that the end user or customer cannot verify whereas charcoal devices are tested with laboratories equipment that is calibrated and certified on a regular basis.
Cost of both charcoal and electronic continuous monitoring devices, when provided by an inspection company is around $175.
Homeowners can purchase testing kits from hardware stores or over the internet. Cost of screening kits for homeowners ranges from $25 to $45.
Buyers who want or whose companies require radon screening will use services provided by a screening or home inspection company.