January is Radon Action Month
radon. The residents of Utah, including children, women, men, and the elderly are all potentially at risk; it is estimated that as high as 30% of homes in Utah could have unsafe levels of radon exposure.
Testing for radon gas is relatively simple and inexpensive; and the increased education and awareness of the harmful effects of radon exposure will help save and preserve the lives of Utah residents.
The amount of radon in the air is measured in 'picoCuries per liter of air,' or 'pCi/L.' Sometimes test results are expressed in Working Levels (WL) rather than picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) (4 pCi/L equals to 0.016 WL). There are many kinds of low-cost 'do-it-yourself' radon test kits you can get through the mail and in hardware stores and other retail outlets. If you prefer, or if you are buying or selling a home, you can hire a qualified tester to do the testing for you. You should first contact your state radon office about obtaining a list of qualified testers. You can also contact a private radon proficiency program for lists of privately certified radon professionals serving your area.
There are Two General Ways to Test for Radon
The quickest way to test is with short-term tests. Short-term tests remain in your home for two days to 90 days, depending on the device. 'Charcoal canisters,' 'alpha track,' 'electret ion chamber,' 'continuous monitors,' and 'charcoal liquid scintillation' detectors are most commonly used for short-term testing. Because radon levels tend to vary from day to day and season to season, a short-term test is less likely than a long-term test to tell you your year-round average radon level. If you need results quickly, however, a short-term test followed by a second short-term test may be used to decide whether to fix your home (see Home Sales).
Long-term tests remain in your home for more than 90 days. 'Alpha track' and 'electret' detectors are commonly used for this type of testing. A long-term test will give you a reading that is more likely to tell you your home's year-round average radon level than a short-term test.
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