The following is presented as a public service by RADON.COM

Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon

United States Environmental Protection Agency
402-R-93-003
March 1993

Air and Radiation 6604J

Paper copies of this document are available at the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop:
SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328

EPA Recommends:
Radon is estimated to cause thousands of cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.

Do you need to find radon test kits?

Do-it-yourself test kits are available right here!


CONTENTS


 

EPA has developed this guide to help home buyers and sellers address eight key questions about radon:


OVERVIEW

This guide is for anyone buying or selling a home who wants to learn about radon.
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.

You cannot see radon. And you cannot smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home. That is because when you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high ration levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

You should test for radon. Testing is the only way to find out your home's radon levels. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.

You can fix a radon problem. If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix a radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.

If you are selling a Home... EPA recommends that you test your home before putting it on the market and, if necessary, lower your radon levels. Save the test results and all information you have about steps that were taken to fix any problems. This could be a positive selling point.

If you are buying a Home... EPA recommends that you obtain the indoor radon level in a home you are considering buying. Ask the seller for radon test results. If the home has a radon reduction system, ask the seller for information about the system.

If the home has not yet been tested, this Guide makes recommendations about how to test now.

The radon testing guidelines in the "Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon" have been developed specifically to deal with the time sensitive nature of home purchases and sales and the potential for radon device interference.

The guidelines in the "Home Buyer's Guide" are somewhat different from the guidelines in other EPA publications which provide radon testing and reduction information for non-real estate situations. The "Home Buyer's Guide" recommends three short-term testing options when long-term testing is not possible. The "Home Buyer's Guide" also recommends testing a home in the lowest level of the home which is currently suitable for occupancy. This is because a buyer may choose to live in a lower area of the home than that used by the seller.


Why Do You Need To Test For Radon?

Radon Has Been Found In Homes All Over the U.S.

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the U.S. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home can trap radon inside. Sometimes radon enters the home through well water.

Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.

Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in your state. Contact your state radon office for information about radon in your area.

EPA And The Surgeon General Recommend That You Test Your Home. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.

WHY YOU CANNOT ESTIMATE RADON LEVELS BASED ON STATE, LOCAL AND NEIGHBORHOOD RADON MEASUREMENTS
Do not rely on radon test results taken in other homes in the neighborhood to estimate the radon level in your home. Homes which are next to each other can have different indoor radon levels. While radon problems may be more common in some areas in the local community or state, any home may have a problem. Testing your home is the only way to find out what your radon levels are.
If You Are Selling A Home, What Should You Do?

If your home has already been tested for radon...

If you are thinking of selling your home and you have already tested your home for radon, provide your test results to the buyer. Review the testing Checklist in this guide to make sure that the test was done correctly.

No matter what kind of test you took, a potential buyer may ask for a new test especially if:

The Radon Information Center---RADON.COM

If the home has not yet been tested for radon...

Have a test taken as soon as possible. If you can, test your home before putting it on the market because this may save time during real estate transactions. You should test in the lowest level of the home which is suitable for occupancy and finished. This means testing in the lowest level that you currently live in or a lower level not currently used, but which a buyer could use for living space without renovations. The result of the radon test is important information about your home's radon level that potential buyers may want to know.

You can test your own home

For low-cost do-it-yourself radon test kits click here

or hire an EPA listed or state certified radon tester. Call your state radon office for a list of these professional radon testers. If you test your own home, carefully follow the Checklist in this guide.


If You Are Buying A Home, What Should You Do?

If the home has already been tested for radon...

If you are thinking of buying a home, you may either decide to accept the test results from the seller, ask the seller to do another test, or you may ask for a new test to be conducted by an EPA listed or state certified radon tester.

If you decide to accept the seller's test, make sure that the seller (or whoever took the test) followed the testing Checklist and that he or she can confirm that all the items were followed. If you plan to use the seller's test, find out as soon as possible from the seller:

If you decide that a new test is needed, you should discuss it with the seller as soon as possible. If you decide to use an EPA qualified or state certified radon tester, contact your state radon office (see listings) for a list of radon testing companies.

If the home has not yet been tested for radon...

Make sure that a radon test is done as soon as possible. You should consider including provisions in the contract specifying who should conduct the test, what type of test to do, when to do the test, and how the seller and the buyer will share the test results, test costs and, if necessary, when radon reduction measures should be taken and who should pay for them.

Make sure that the test is done in the lowest level of the home suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that you are going to use as living space which is finished or does not require renovations prior to use. A state or local radon official or an EPA listed or state certified radon tester can help you make some of these decisions.

If you decide to finish or renovate an unfinished area of the home in the future, ration tests should be taken before and after the area is finished. Radon reduction costs could be incurred if high levels are found in that area. Generally, it is less expensive to install a radon reduction system before or during renovations rather than afterwards.


If You Are Buying A Newly-Built Home, What Should You Do?

New homes can be built with radon resistant features that minimize radon entry and allow easier fixing of radon problems that could occur later. These features cost less if installed during construction than if added to an existing home. In most new homes, use of radon resistant features will keep radon levels to below 2 pCi/L.

Builders can incorporate radon resistant features into the homes they build. Some states, counties and local jurisdictions may adopt radon resistant construction features in their building codes, which builders must then follow. Radon resistant construction standards can be applied depending on the radon potential in a particular area. Many builders already use radon resistant building features.

New home buyers should ask if radon resistant construction techniques have been built into the new home they are considering for purchase. Buyers should also ask whether information about radon is available. For custom-built homes, the buyer should discuss radon resistant features with the builder including the cost.

Occupants of newly constructed should have their homes tested for radon. A long-term test will provide a reading that more representative of the home's average radon level. However, short-term may be used determine if elevated radon levels exist.


How Can You Get Reliable Radon Test Results?

Even though you cannot see or smell radon, it is not hard to find out if you have a radon problem in your home.

Types of Radon Devices

Since you cannot see or smell radon, special equipment is needed to detect it. You can buy radon devices in retail stores when you want to test your own home, send away for radon devices from laboratories that offer mail order services, or you can hire an EPA listed or state certified radon tester who will test using radon devices that are appropriate for the situation.

Preventing or Detecting Test Interference

There is a potential for test interference in real estate transactions. There are a number of ways to prevent or detect test interference such as:

Home buyers and sellers should evaluate these and other features when selecting a radon test alternative. Refer to the "Protocols for Radon and Radon Decay Measurements in Homes" for information about radon testing devices and associated device interference features.

Some of the most common radon testing devices are listed below. Because new testing devices may be listed by EPA or your state, you may want to check with your state radon office before you test to get the most up-to-date information.

Passive Devices

Passive radon testing devices do not need power to function. They include radon detectors such as charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, and charcoal liquid scintillation devices that are available in hardware stores, drug stores, other stores, and by mail, and electret ion chamber detectors generally only available through laboratories. They are exposed to the air in the home for a specified period of time and then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Both short-term and long-term passive devices are generally inexpensive. Some of these devices may have features that offer more resistance to test interference or disturbance than other passive devices. Professional radon testers may use any of these devices to measure the home's radon level.

Active Devices

Active radon testing devices require power to function. Active radon detectors such as continuous ration monitors and continuous working level monitors require operation by trained testers. They work by continuously measuring and recording the amount of radon or its decay products in the air of the home. Many of these devices provide a report of this information which can reveal any unusual or abnormal swings in the radon level during the test period. A professional tester can explain this report to you. In addition, some of these devices are specifically designed to deter and detect test interference. Currently, some of the technically advanced active devices offer the most extensive device interference features. Although these tests may cost more, they may ensure a more reliable result.

General Information for All Devices:

A state or local radon official can explain the differences between devices and recommend the ones which are most appropriate for your needs and expected testing conditions. In addition, EPA's Radon Measurement Protocols include technical information about the differences between devices.

Make sure the radon device is listed by EPA's testing program or is state-certified. The device may display the phrase "Meets EPA Requirements" or "EPA listed." Your state radon office or a radon tester can tell you more about radon testing devices.

Certain precautions should be followed to avoid interference during the test period. Refer to the Checklist in this guide for more information about how to get a reliable test.

In some areas, companies may offer different types of radon service agreements. Some agreements let you pay a one-time fee that covers both testing, and if needed, radon reduction. Contact your state radon office to find out if these are available in your state.

Radon Test Device Placement

The testing device(s) should be placed in the lowest level of the home suitable for occupancy. This means testing in the lowest level currently lived in or a lower level not currently used, such as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations. The test should be in a room to be used regularly (like a living room, playroom, den or bedroom) but not a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.

WHETHER YOU TEST FOR RADON YOURSELF OR HIRE AN EPA LISTED OR STATE CERTIFIED TESTER, ALL RADON TESTS SHOULD BE TAKEN FOR A MINIMUM OF 48 HOURS. A LONGER PERIOD OF TESTING TIME IS REQUIRED FOR SOME DEVICES.

Length of Time to Test There Are Two General Ways To Test Your Home for Radon:
If You Conduct a Short-Term Test...

If you are testing in a real estate transaction and you need results quickly, any of the following three ways to conduct Short-Term Tests are acceptable for determining whether the home should be fixed. Any real estate test for radon should include steps to prevent or detect device interference.


SHORT-TERM TESTING OPTIONS                WHAT TO DO NEXT





Passive:



For info on do-it-yourself test kits...
Take an initial short-term test for Fix the home if the at least 48 hours. After the first average of two tests test has been completed, take a is 4 pCi/L or more. follow-up short-term test for at least 48 hours. or Take two short-term tests at the Fix the home if the same time in the same location for average of two tests at least 48 hours. is 4 pCi/L or more. Active: Test the home with a continuous Fix the home if the monitor for at least 48 hours. average radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.
WHEN CHOOSING A SHORT-TERM TESTING OPTION

There are trade-offs among the short-term test options. One test followed by another test (sequential) would most likely give a better representation of the seasonal average. Two tests taken at the same time (simultaneous) would improve the precision of the radon test. Both active and passive devices may have features which help to prevent test interference. Your state radon office can help you decide which option is the best for you.

Using Testing Devices Properly (If You Do the Test Yourself)

When you are taking a short-term test, close your windows and outside doors and keep them closed as much as possible during the test, except for normal entry and exit. If you are taking a short-term test lasting less than 4 days, be sure to close your windows and outside doors at least 12 hours before beginning the test, too. You should not conduct short-term tests lasting less than 4 days during severe storms or periods of high winds.

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. Leave the test kit in place for as long as the test instructions say. Once you have finished the test, reseal the package and send 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.

The Radon Information Center---RADON.COM

EPA'S TESTING CHECKLIST

Follow this Checklist carefully so that you get the most accurate radon test results.

Radon testing is not a complicated process, but must be done properly. Otherwise, the test results may not be accurate and more testing may have to be done. Disturbing or interfering with the test device or closed-house conditions will invalidate the test results.

The seller, or an EPA listed or state certified tester, should be able to confirm that all the items in this Checklist have been followed. If the tester cannot confirm this, another test should be taken.

Before the radon testing:

During the radon test:

After a radon test:
Getting Reliable Results (If You Hire A Professional Radon Tester)

In many cases, home buyers and sellers may decide to have the radon test done by a professional radon tester. Make sure that the company you hire is listed in EPA's Radon Measurement Proficiency (RMP) Program or your state's certification program, if it has one.

EPA's Radon Measurement Proficiency (RMP) program is designed to help you get reliable radon tests. RMP program participants are required to show their ability to make accurate tests and follow quality assurance and EPA test guidelines. EPA issues RMP reports for your state. These reports list testing companies and individuals in your area qualified to follow EPA's residential radon testing requirements. Make sure you ask to see the professional radon tester's photo I.D. card.

Interpreting Radon Test Results

The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. The U. S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels. While this goal is not yet technologically achievable for all homes, the radon levels in some homes today can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.

WHAT WILL A PROFESSIONAL RADON TESTER DO?

An EPA listed or state certified radon tester knows the proper conditions, test devices, and guidelines to get a reliable radon test. A professional radon tester can also:

Your state radon office may also have information about certification requirements for professional radon testers. Contact your State radon office for information about RMP and state certified contractors.

RADON TEST RESULTS MEASURED IN TWO DIFFERENT UNITS

Your radon test results may be reported in either picocuries per Liter of Air (pCi/L) or Working Levels (WL).

If your test result is in pCi/L, EPA recommends you fix the home if your radon level is 4 pCi/L or higher. If the test result is in WL, EPA recommends you fix the home if the working level is 0.02 WL or higher.

Sometimes short-term tests are less definitive about whether the home is at or above 4 pCi/L. This can happen when your results are close to 4 pCi/L. For example, if the average of the two short-term tests is 4.1 pCi/L, there is about a 50% chance that the year-round average is somewhat below 4 pCi/L. However, EPA believes that any radon exposure carries some risk; no level of radon is safe. Even radon levels below 4 pCi/L pose some risk, and you can reduce your risk of lung cancer by lowering your radon level.

Like other environmental pollutants, there is some uncertainty about the magnitude of radon health risks. However, we know more about radon risks than risks from most other cancer-causing substances. This is because estimates of radon risks are based on studies in humans (underground miners). Additional studies on more typical populations are under way.

Your radon measurement will give you an idea of your risk of getting lung cancer from radon. Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon depend mostly on:

Smoking combined with radon is an especially serious health risk. If you smoke or are a former smoker, the presence of radon greatly increases your risk of lung cancer. If you stop smoking now and lower the radon level in your house, you will reduce your lung cancer risk.

The Radon Information Center---RADON.COM

RADON RISK IF YOU SMOKE


Radon       If 1,000 people     The risk of cancer     WHAT TO

Level       were exposed to     compares to.**         Stop

            this level over                            Smoking

            a lifetime...                              and...





20 pCi/L    About 135 people    <-100 times the risk   Fix your

            could get lung        of drowning          home

            cancer



10 pCi/L    About 71 people     <-100 times the risk   Fix your

            could get lung        of dying in a home   home

            cancer



8 pCi/L     About 57 people                            Fix your

            could get lung                             home

            cancer



4 pCi/L     About 29 people     <-100 times the risk   Fix your

            could get lung        of dying in an       home

            cancer                airplane crash               

                                                       Consider 

                                                       fixing   

                                                       between  

                                                       2 and 4

                                                       pCi/L



2 pCi/L     About 15 people     <-2 times the risk

            could get lung        of dying in a car

            cancer                crash



1.3 pCi/L   About 9 people        (Average indoor     (Reducing

            could get lung         ration level)      radon

            cancer                                    levels

                                                      below 2

                                                      pCi/L is

                                                      difficult)



0.4 pCi/L   About 3 people        (Average outdoor

            could get lung         radon level)

            cancer

Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be lower.
RADON RISK IF YOU HAVE NEVER SMOKED

Radon       If 1,000 people     The risk of cancer     WHAT TO

Level       were exposed to     compares to.**         Stop

            this level over                            Smoking

            a lifetime...                              and...





20 pCi/L    About 8 people      <-The risk of being    Fix your

            could get lung        killed in a violent  home

            cancer                crime



10 pCi/L    About 4 people                             Fix your

            could get lung                             home

            cancer



8 pCi/L     About 3 people      <-10 times the risk    Fix your

            could get lung        of dying in an       home

            cancer                airplane crash



4 pCi/L     About 2 people      <-The risk of drowning Fix your

            could get lung                             home

            cancer

                                                       Consider 

                                                       fixing   

                                                       between  

                                                       2 and 4

                                                       pCi/L



2 pCi/L     About 1 person      <-The risk of dying

            could get lung        in a home fire

            cancer



1.3 pCi/L   Less than 1 person    (Average indoor     (Reducing

            could get lung          ration level)     radon

            cancer                                    levels

                                                      below 2

                                                      pCi/L is

                                                      difficult)



0.4 pCi/L   Less than 1 person    (Average outdoor

            could get lung          radon level)

            cancer

Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be higher.


What Should You Do If You Find A High Radon Level?

High Radon Levels Can Be Reduced

EPA recommends that you take action to reduce your home's indoor radon levels if your radon test result is 4 pCi/L or higher.

It is preferable to correct a radon problem before placing your home on the market because then you have more time to address a radon problem. If elevated levels are found during the real estate transaction, the buyer and seller should discuss the timing and costs of the radon reduction, as with any other aspect of the home purchase and sale.

The cost of making repairs to reduce radon depends on how your home was built and other factors. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs, like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The average cost for a contractor to lower radon levels in a home is about $1,200, although this can range from $500 to about $2,500.

How To Lower The Radon Level In Your Home A variety of methods can be used to reduce radon in homes. Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to radon reduction. EPA does not recommend the use of sealing alone to reduce radon because, by itself, sealing has not been shown to lower radon levels significantly or consistently. In most cases, systems with pipes and fans are used to reduce radon. Such systems are called "subslab depressurization," and do not require major changes to your home. These systems prevent radon gas from entering the home from below the concrete floor and the foundation. Similar systems can also be installed in homes with crawl spaces. Radon reduction contractors may use other methods that may also work in your home. The right system depends on the design of your home and other factors. As with any other household appliance, there would be costs associated with the operation of the radon reduction system.

Ways to reduce radon are discussed in EPA's "Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction." Call your state radon office to get a copy.

You should also test your home again after it is fixed to be sure that radon levels have been reduced. If your living patterns change and you begin occupying a lower level of your home (such as a basement) you should retest your home on that level. In addition, it is a good idea to retest your home sometime in the future to be sure radon levels remain low.

RADON AND HOME RENOVATIONS If you are planning any major renovations, such as converting an unfinished basement area into living space, it is especially important to test the area for radon before you begin the renovation. If your test results indicate a radon problem, radon resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation. Because major renovations can change the level of radon in any home, always test again after work is completed.

WHAT SERVICES DO RADON REDUCTION CONTRACTORS PROVIDE?

Contractors who participate in EPA's RCP program are qualified to:

Picking someone to fix your radon problem is much like choosing a contractor for other home repairs; you may want to get references and more than one estimate. Call your state radon office for a list of the names of EPA listed or state certified radon contractors in your area. Your state radon office may also have information about certification requirements for these contractors.

The Radon Information Center---RADON.COM

Selecting A Radon Reduction Contractor

You should use a radon reduction contractor who is listed by EPA's Radon Contractor Proficiency (RCP) Program. This Program tests the technical knowledge of contractors to ensure that hey can correct radon problems. RCP contractors must follow specific guidelines which make certain that their work meets minimum quality standards. RCP contractors carry photo I.D. cards and are listed in RCP Program reports.

Radon reduction contractors are required to take the RCP exam and then follow the RCP Mitigation Standards. These standards are available from your state radon office. The RCP radon reduction contractor is also required to review radon measurement results before beginning radon reduction work.

In addition, the RCP contractor must recommend that the home be tested again by an independent EPA listed or state certified radon tester after completing radon reduction work to confirm that elevated levels have been reduced.

RADON IN WATER

Compared to radon entering the home through soft, radon entering the home through water in most cases will be a small source of risk. Radon gas can enter the home through well water. It can be released into the air you breathe when water is used for showering and other household uses. Research suggests that swallowing water with high radon levels may pose risks, too, although risks from swallowing water containing radon are believed to be much lower than those from breathing air containing radon.

While radon in water is not a problem in homes served by most public water supplies, radon has been found in well water. If you have tested the air in your home and found a radon problem, and your water comes from a well, have the water tested. If you are on a public water supply and are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the water, call your public water supplier. The testing device and procedures used to find out the radon levels of your home's water supply are different from the device and procedures used to test your home's indoor air levels for radon.

Radon problems in water can be readly fixed. The most effective treatment is to remove radon from the water before it enters the home. This is called point-of-entry treatment. Treatment at your water tap is called point-of-use treatment. Point-of-use devices usually only treat a small portion of your water and are not effective in reducing radon risk in water.

Call your State radon office for a copy of the "Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction" or call EPA's Drinking Water Hotline (1 800 426-4791) for more information on radon in water.

SHOULD YOUR RADON TESTER ALSO BE YOUR RADON REDUCTION CONTRACTOR?

Be aware that there is a potential conflict of interest if you use the same company to conduct both the test and the radon reduction of the home. If the same radon testing professional also offers to do radon reduction of the home, make sure that the testing is done according to the Testing Checklist.

EPA's Radon Proficiency Programs (RMP and RCP) work together to protect home buyers and sellers. Make sure you only hire professional testers and radon reduction contractors who are EPA qualified or state certified. Always ask to see the contractor's I.D. card.

You should also consider getting more than one cost estimate and asking for references from radon testing and radon reduction companies in your area.

Some states have additional certification requirements, and may require the homeowner to sign a waiver if one firm conducts both testing and radon reduction. Contact your state radon office for more information.


RADON MYTHS/FACTS

MYTH: Scientists are not sure that radon really is a problem.

FACT: Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon, the major health organizations (like the Centers for Disease Control, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association) agree with estimates that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year. This is especially true among smokers, since the risk to smokers is much greater than to non-smokers.

MYTH: Radon testing devices are not reliable and are difficult to find.

FACT: Radon testing can be conducted by professionally trained RMP listed or state certified radon tester.

Active radon devices can continuously gather and periodically record radon levels reveal any unusual swings in the radon level during the test.

Reliable testing devices are also available through the mail, in hardware stores and other retail outlets. Call your state radon office for a list of radon device companies that have met EPA requirements for reliability or are state certified.

MYTH: Radon testing is difficult and time-consuming.

FACT: Radon testing is easy. You can test your own home or you can hire an EPA listed or state certified radon tester. Either approach takes only a small amount of the homeowner's time or effort.

MYTH: Homes with radon problems cannot be fixed.

FACT: There are solutions to radon problems in homes. Thousands of home owners have already lowered elevated radon levels in their homes. Radon levels can be readily lowered for $500 to $2,500. Call your state radon office for a list of contractors that have met EPA requirements or are state certified.

MYTH: Radon only affects certain types of homes.

FACT: Radon can be a problem in all types of homes such as old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements and homes without basements. Construction materials and the way the home has been built may also affect radon levels.

MYTH: Radon is only a problem in certain parts of the country.

FACT: High radon levels have been found in every state. Radon problems do vary from area to area, but the only way to know the home's radon level is to test.

MYTH: A neighbor's test result is a indication of whether your home has a radon problem.

FACT: It is not. Radon levels vary from home to home. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test it.

MYTH: Everyone should test his or her water for radon.

FACT: While radon gets into some homes through the water, it is important to first the air in the home for radon. If high radon levels are found and the home has a well, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1 800-426. 4791, or your state radon office for more information.

MYTH: It is difficult to sell a home where radon problems have been discovered.

FACT: Where radon problems have been fixed, home sales have not been blocked. The added protection could be a good selling point.

MYTH: I have lived in my home for so long, it does not make sense to take action now.

FACT: You will reduce your risk of lung cancer when you reduce radon levels, even if you have lived with a radon problem for a long time.

MYTH: Short-term tests cannot be used for making a decision about whether to reduce the home's high radon levels.

FACT: Short-term tests may be used to decide whether to reduce the home's high radon levels. However, the closer the short-term testing result is to 4 pCi/L, the less certainty there is about whether the home's year-round average is above or below that level. Keep in mind that radon levels below 4 pCi/L still pose some risk and that radon levels can be reduced in some homes to 2 pCi/L or below.

Where Can You Get More Information About Radon?

For more info go to THE RADON INFORMATION CENTER


Also:

Ask your state radon office to send you these free guides:

If you plan to make repairs yourself, be sure to contact your state radon office for a current copy of EPA's technical guidance on radon reduction, "Radon Reduction Techniques for Detached Houses -- Technical Guidance."

Contact the EPA's Drinking Water Hotline (1 800 426-4791) for information on radon in water.

SURGEON GENERAL HEALTH ADVISORY

"Indoor radon gas is a national health problem. Radon causes thousands of deaths each year. Millions of homes have elevated radon levels. Homes should be tested for radon. When elevated levels are confirmed, the problem should be corrected."

Consumers need to know about the health of a house they are considering purchasing, including whether there is a radon problem, and if so, how to fix it. The Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon provides practical consumer information that every home buyer needs to know.

The preceeding was sponsored by THE RADON INFORMATION CENTER