Some information about Radon contributed by resident Gino F. Tognotti:
When we purchased our home back in 1994 a radon test was performed as part of our home inspection to make sure that the interior air levels were within acceptable numbers as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Radon Act 51 (typically below 4 picocuries (pCi/L)).
For those of you who are not aware of radon gas, simply put it is the natural breakdown (decay) of uranium and radium found naturally in the soil. The decay process emits a radioactive colorless, odorless gas called radon. Radon, at high levels, has been found to cause lung cancer in non-smokers when exposed over a long period of time.
Our neighbor recently sold her home and found out that she had high levels of radon. She lived there since 1996 and had no idea that she had elevated levels. (She had a Kitchen addition and Garage shift completed about 10 years ago which disturbed the soil where the addition was placed.)
We thought that since our readings back in 1994 were below the acceptable level of 4 picocuries we were OK. However, what we didn’t realize is: readings change over time, and if you have disturbed the soil (e.g. putting an addition on your house) the chances are increased that you now have elevated radon levels. So at my wife’s request, I bought a radon detector that monitors the air quality 24/7 from Home Depot (Corentium Home Radon Detector $148.24). And low and behold the readings are above 8 picocuries. We are currently in the process of having a mitigation system installed.
For those of you that have purchased your home recently and had a radon level test, hopefully the readings came in at a safe level. You may want to recheck your home inspection documents (if you had a home inspection completed).
For those of you who have installed an addition (even installed a deck and/or patio; or any other project that disturbed the finish grade/soil) after purchasing your home I recommend that you have the interior air quality tested.
I am not a radon expert, and am not promoting any kind of testing or mitigation service and/or products. I just wanted to share our experience with the Tanglewood Community Association members.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this topic please contact me at your convenience.