WHAT IS RADONtop
Radon gas comes from the natural radioactive decay of radium and uranium found in the soil. The amount of radon in the soil depends on complex soil chemistry that varies from one house to the next. Radon levels in the soil range from a few pico curies per liter of air (pCi/L) to several thousands of pCi/L. There is no known safe level of exposure to radon. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you fix your home if testing shows levels over 3.9 pCi/L.
The amount of radon that escapes from the soil to enter the house depends on the weather, soil porosity, soil moisture, and the suction within the house. It is present to some degree in practically every home and work place in the United States. You can't see it, smell it, taste it, or feel it and this makes radon exceedingly dangerous.
Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer among non- smokers. Overall, it is second only to smoking in causing lung cancer, killing over 20,000 people a year--over 2,900 among people who have never smoked.
We should repeat--There is no known safe level of exposure to radon. The Environmental Protection Agency strongly recommends that you fix your home if testing shows levels over 3.9 pCi/L.
http://www.epa.gov/radon/healthrisks.html

 HOW DOES RADON CAUSE CANCERtop
If inhaled, radon decay products that have attached to the surface of aerosols, dusts, and smoke particles, become deeply lodged or trapped in the lungs, where they can radiate and penetrate the cells of mucous membranes, bronchi, and other pulmonary tissues. The ionizing radiation energy affecting the bronchial epithelial cells is believed to initiate the process of carcinogenesis (cancer).
Although radon-related lung cancers are mainly seen in the upper airways, radon increases the incidence of all histological types of lung cancer, including small cell carcinoma, aden carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Lung cancer due to inhalation of radon decay products constitutes the only known risk associated with radon. In studies done, variables such as age, duration of exposure, time since initiation of exposure and especially the use of tobacco have been found to influence individual risk. In fact, the use of tobacco multiplies the risk of radon-induced lung cancer enormously.
The radon health risk is underscored by the fact that in 1988 Congress added Title III on Indoor Radon Abatement to the Toxic Substances Control Act. It codified and funded EPA's then fledgling radon program. Also that year, the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General issued a warning about radon urging all Americans to test their homes and to reduce the radon level when necessary.
Recognizing that radon is a significant public health risk, many scientific and professional organizations are able to say with certainty that thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths annually in the United States are attributable to indoor residential exposure to radon. These organizations include, but not limited to:
American Cancer Society (http://www.cancer.org)
American Medical Association (http://www.ama-assn.org)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (http://www.cdc.gov/NIOSH/)
American Lung Association (http://www.lungusa.org/)
National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)
National Medical Association (http://www.nmanet.org/)
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (http://www.vicc.org/)
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (http://www.mskcc.org)
These and other research organizations have collected enough data to prove with certainty that thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths annually in the United States alone are attributable to indoor residential exposure to radon.

HOW DO I TEST FOR RADONtop
The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend that all homes be tested. http://www.epa.gov/radon/
Option 1:
The least costly method is to contact your county or city health department. They give away free test
kits. After the test period you will need to send the test kit to a radon laboratory and wait for the results.
Note:
Users should pay particular attention to the set up instructions because if done incorrectly another test may be required, plus the time for the results to be mailed and returned.  Please pay particular attention to placing the test kit instructions below.
Option 2
:
The second method is to go to your local building supply store, such as Lowe's, Lumber King, etc., and purchase a short term test kit. This is acceptable to many; however, these are not free.
Again Note:
Users should pay particular attention to the set up instructions because if done incorrectly, another test may be required taking more time for the results to be mailed and returned.  Please pay particular attention to placing the test kit instructions below.
Option 3:
Use Advanced Radon Services, Inc.   We know how and where to properly set up the tester to give you true radon gas results. Our testing period is two days (minimum of 48 hours) and we have immediate results for you. However, we do cost more than the first two options.  Call us for pricing in your area.

Self Testing Instructions:  EPA Protocols

1. Do not conduct short-term tests lasting less than four days during severe storms or periods of high winds.

2. Close all windows and doors at least 12 hours before beginning the test and keep them closed except for normal entry and exit to the property.

3. Follow the testing instructions and record the start time and date.

4. Placing the test kit: Some test kit instructions suggest hanging the test from the hook provided at your normal breathing level.  Many people think this is at 5- 6 feet.  EPA protocol states:  Place the test device at least 20 inches above the floor in a location where it will not be disturbed and where it will be away from drafts, high heat, high humidity, and exterior walls.  Since radon is approximately 8 times heavier than air, doesn’t it make sense to place the test closer to the 20 inches above the floor number rather than 5-6 feet.
5. Leave the test kit in place for as long as the test instructions say; and once you have finished the test, record the stop time and date, reseal the package and return it immediately to the lab specified on the package for analysis. You should receive your test results within a few weeks.

If you need results quickly, you should find out how long results will take and, if necessary, request expedited service.


REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION TESTING?  top
What should I do when I want to buy a home and a radon test has already been done? IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO SELECT YOUR OWN RADON TESTING COMPANY
 Tests can be skewed.
How can a radon test be beaten?  Simply opening windows or doors prior to or during the test, setting the tester or charcoal canister outside, unplugging the electrical cord on a digital monitor can greatly alter the results. Our electronic testers continuously monitor hourly levels and will show it the unit has been tampered with or if the power has been disconnected. If we see spikes or gaps in the readout, it may invalidate the test and require us to retest.  

Passive Short Term Testing: Take two short-term tests at the same time in the same location for at least 48 hours. Alternatively, take an initial short-term test for at least 48 hours immediately followed by a second test, using the same device in the same location as the first test.  Fix the home if the average of two tests is 4 pCi/L or more.

Active Short Term Testing:  Test the home with a continuous electrical monitor for at least 48 hours.  Fix the home if the average radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.

http://www.epa.gov/radon/realestate.html

HOW DO I INTERPRET THE RADON TESTING RESULTStop
Unfortunately, people assume that if the "action level" is listed at 4 pCi/L, then a radon level of less than 4 pCi/L is safe. Scientists believe that any measurable amount of radon is unsafe long-term. For most people, their greatest exposure to radon will be in their homes; especially in rooms that are in contact with the ground (concrete slab homes), below grade such as basements, and rooms above crawlspaces.
Note:  Please read the EPA protocols for radon measurements in homes. They vary widely depending on what type test was done, how long it was set for, etc. Basically after following all the protocols, a reading of 4.0 pCi/L or over should require
mitigation. The rule of thumb is, the less radon, the better.http://www.epa.gov/radon/pdfs/homes_protocols.pdf

WHO SHOULD PAY TO GET THE RADON REDUCEDtop
If you are buying a house, this is strictly a matter of negotiation for which there are no hard and fast rules.No matter who ends up paying, it is in your best interest that the buyer be the one to select the contractor and specify how the work will be done. We have tested several houses that originally measured more than 100 pCi/L, when mitigated were reduced to levels below 2 pCi/L.

HOW DO I FIX THE RADON PROBLEMtop
If you feel the radon levels are high enough to justify installing a radon mitigation system, we recommend installing a good quality, durable, energy efficient system. The EPA recommends that you have a system installed in your home to reduce the levels below 4 pCi/L. Certified mitigation contractors will assess the source of the radon and use the best method to lower these levels. Lowering radon gas levels in your home to a safe levels requires specific technical knowledge and proper equipment. Unqualified homeowners trying to install systems could actually cause an increase in radon levels in their homes.

HOW MUCH DOES MITIGATION COSTtop
Every home or work place is different and the cost will vary. We can come to your home or work place, make an assessment, and give you a free proposal.
passive system as the home is being built.  This can be accomplished with your building contractor making a simple phone call to Advanced Radon Services.  When we install the system we accept the liability that it will work properly.

Newer homes with concrete slab floors on grade
. Usually with a newer home you have good dry rock under the slab which gives you channels for the radon gas to pass to a suction point and be expelled by the suction fan motor above the roof line--an older home may only have dirt.

Newer homes with concrete slab basements . Again, usually with a newer home you have good dry rock under the slab. Only additional piping and labor would raise the cost versus a slab home.

Homes with crawlspaces may add to the cost of mitigation
. Porous piping need to be added in the crawlspace; radon resistant vapor barrier is laid over the piping and sealed to the foundation walls. Then solid piping is extended to the suction fan motor and expelled above the roof line.

Basement and crawlspace combinations offer yet more challenges
. Piping from each is combined and extended to the suction fan motor and expelled above the roof line.

Additional costs come when homeowners want piping extended through one or more floors into attic areas and through roofs instead of the easier system going to the exterior wall of a home or work place. When we recommend diagnostics be performed on older homes with suspected Kentucky red clay or when moisture is found under slabs or in crawlspaces, the price can escalate. You may need a suction pump motor rather than a suction fan motor.  There is a large price difference between the two. Another problem is when we expect the building contractor to follow the Kentucky building codes and he doesn't, causing many problems for the home owner and the radon mitigation contractor.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RUN THE FAN MOTOR
top
The average fan motor will draw between 90-120 watts of power. The radon mitigation fan motor will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for your protection. Specific to Kentucky, we have some of the lowest electrical rates in the nation and that means the cost can be estimated to be between $75-$150 a year...quite a bargin.

WHAT ABOUT RADON IN GRANITE COUNTER-TOPStop
POSITION STATEMENT: Science and Technical Committee of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), August 4, 2008........
At this time, the EPA does not believe sufficient data exists to conclude that the types of granite commonly used in counter-tops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels. Soil, sand, and rock underneath the home are the primary sources of indoor radon gas. The soil under a house always contains traces of uranium that eventually decays into radium that then decays directly into radon. This soil constitutes an enormous surface area for release of radon gas into the air and into buildings. Materials inside a building such as concrete, granite, slate, marble, sand, shale and other stones can also contain traces of radium that release radon with varying intensities. While natural rocks such as granite may emit some radon gas, the subsequent levels of radon in the building that are attributable to such sources are not typically high. The contribution from building materials to the indoor radon concentration is very dependent upon the building ventilation rate.
Read more... http://www.aarst.org/images/AARST_Granite_Position_Statement_8-04-2008.pdf

WHAT ABOUT RADON IN WELL WATERtop
Underground well water can transport the radon from the soil into the house by  way of  taking a shower, doing laundry, or washing dishes. The EPA says it takes about 10,000 pCi/L of radon in water to contribute 1.0 pCi/L of radon in air throughout the house. The ratio of radon in water to radon in bathroom air while showering can be much higher, typically from 100 to 1; to about 300 to 1.

WHAT ABOUT RADON IN CITY WATERtop
If your water comes from a municipal reservoir supply, you need not worry about radon in the water. When radon in water is stored in a reservoir for more than 30 days, the radon decays away to practically nothing. Every 3.825 days half the radon disappears through natural radioactive decay. http://www.epa.gov/OGWDW/radon/nas.html

QUESTIONS TO ASK A RADON CONTRACTORtop
Q1: ARE YOU QUALIFIED TO INSTALL RADON SYSTEMS AND WILL YOU PROVIDE REFERENCES??
A: Our contractors are very well qualified to test for radon in your home and to install your mitigation system. We follow proven EPA protocols to insure that you will have a properly installed system. http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/devprot1.html With an average of 2-3 systems installed per week, we have hundreds of satisfied customers and can provide you with as many references as you desire.

Q2: ARE YOU LICENSED?
A: ARS has all the appropriate City and County business and State contractors licenses and can provide you with proof. We have a LICENSED ELECTRICIAN as required by Kentucky law for the wiring of your system. Beware of unlicensed radon mitigation contractors. http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/devprot1.html

Q3:  DOES YOUR COMPANY CARRY INSURANCE AND WILL YOU PROVIDE PROOF?

A: ARS carries a $1,000,000 ERRORS AND OMISSIONS, GENERAL LIABILITY, AND POLLUTION INSURANCE policy. Beware of uninsured or under insured radon mitigation contractors.

Q4:  DOES YOUR COMPANY CARRY WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE ON YOUR EMPLOYEES AND WILL YOU PROVIDE PROOF?
A: ARS carries full Workman’s Comp and can provide proof. Kentucky law requires that all persons employed by radon mitigation companies be INSURED, AND covered by Workers Compensation Insurance. Beware of radon mitigation contractors who operate without Workman’s Comp Insurance. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/342-00/640.PDF

Q5:  ARE YOU A MEMBER OF THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU?
A: ARS is a proud member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau's for Eastern and Western Kentucky. http://www.bluegrass.bbb.org/RosterByTob.asp?ID=61026-50

Q6:  ARE THERE ANY PENDING LAWSUITS AGAINST YOUR COMPANY?

A:  There are no pending lawsuits against ARS, and there have never been any.

Q7:  WILL YOU REVIEW THE INITIAL TEST RESULTS WITH ME AND EXPLAIN IF MORE TESTING WILL BE REQUIRED, WHAT WORK WILL BE NEEDED, HOW LONG IT WILL TAKE TO COMPLETE, AND GIVE ME AN ESTIMATE OF WHAT IT WILL COST?

A: ARS takes great pride in carefully evaluating your home and communicating with you exactly what will be required to make your family safe. After the initial measurements, we may need to perform additional tests to determine if the basement slab was built on crushed rock or not.

Q8:  WILL YOU PROVIDE A WRITTEN CONTRACT BEFORE STARTING WORK, EXPLAINING THE COST OF THE SYSTEM TO BE INSTALLED? ?
A:  ARS will give you a written contract that details all the costs plus provide you with a diagram of the system to be installed.

Q9:  DOES YOUR COMPANY PROVIDE A POST MITIGATION TEST TO MAKE SURE THE RADON REDUCTION SYSTEM IS WORKING PROPERLY?
A: Some companies require that you have a different company perform a post mitigation test. You usually will be asked to pay the company the total fee after the installation is completed and before that test. Then, if there are negative test results, they may charge you to return and do any additional work on your home. We are happy to perform the post mitigation test as part of the job but if you wish to use another company for the post mitigation test, we only ask for half of the fee the day the system is installed, and the other half after a successful post mitigation test.

Q10: HOW LONG IS THE WARRANTY ON THE INSTALLED SYSTEM AND MAY IT BE TRANSFERRED?
A: We provide a 5-year warranty on any system we install. To maintain the warranty, we require that the homeowner follow the EPA protocols and test the system every two years. If the homeowner sells the home we allow them to transfer the warranty one time. If the house is for sale when the system is installed, full rights to the warranty will be transferred to the buyer, who may likewise transfer the warranty to a new buyer within the warranty period.
Note: If you wish to make major structural changes to your home after you have had a radon reduction system installed, for example converting an unfinished basement area into living space, consult with your radon contractor to insure that these changes will not void any warranties. If you are planning to add a new foundation for an addition to your home, ask your radon contractor about what measures should be taken to ensure reduced radon levels throughout the home. After a remodel, retest in the lowest lived-in area to make sure the construction did not reduce the effectiveness of your radon reduction system.



HOW CAN I CHECK MY CONTRACTORS WORKtop
Radon reduction systems must be clearly labeled. This will avoid accidental changes to the system which could disrupt its function. The exhaust pipe(s) of soil suction systems must vent above the surface of the roof and 10 feet or more above the ground, and at least 10 feet away from windows, doors, or other openings that could allow the radon to reenter the house, if the exhaust pipe(s) do not vent at least 2 feet above these openings. The exhaust fan must not be located in or below a livable area. For instance, it should be in an unoccupied attic of the house or outside - not in a basement! If installing an exhaust fan outside, the contractor must install a fan that meets local building codes for exterior use. Electrical connections of all active radon reduction systems must be installed according to local electrical codes. A warning device must be installed to alert you if an active system stops working properly. Examples of system failure warning devices are: a liquid gauge, a sound alarm, a light indicator, and a dial (needle display) gauge. The warning device must be placed where it can be seen or heard easily. Your contractor should check that the warning device works. Later on, if your monitor shows that the system is not working properly, call a contractor to have it checked. A post-mitigation radon test should be done within 30 days of system installation, but no sooner than 24 hours after your system is in operation with the fan on, if it has one. The contractor may perform a post-mitigation test to check his work and the initial effectiveness of the system; however, it is recommended that you also get an independent follow-up radon measurement. Having an independent tester perform the test, or conducting the measurement yourself, will eliminate any potential conflict of interest. To test the system's effectiveness, a 2-7 day measurement is recommended. Test conditions: windows and doors must be closed 12 hours before and during the test, except for normal entry/exit. Make sure your contractor completely explains your radon reduction system, demonstrates how it operates, and explains how to maintain it. Ask for written operating and maintenance instructions and copies of any warranties.


SHOULD I BUY A HOME WITH AN ACTIVE OR PASSIVE RADON MITIGATION SYSTEMtop
If you are considering the purchase of a home with an existing active or passive radon mitigation system, simply test the home and use the results to evaluate the condition of the property prior to purchase. If the results read above the action level of 4.0pCi/L call a radon mitigation contractor to get a quote. Remember the EPA suggests mitigating to a level under 2.0 pCi/L.


EPA CONSUMERS GUIDE TO RADON REDUCTION top
http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/consguid.html#installtabl



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