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What is Radon?

  • Radon is a gas.
  • It is naturally occurring.
  • It cannot be seen or smelled.
  • It enters buildings from the soil beneath them.

How Is Radon Drawn Into A Building?

  • Vacuum
  • Exhaust systems
  • Thermal stack effects

Why Is Radon A Concern?

  • Radon decays into radioactive particles known as radon decay products.
  • These particles are easily inhaled and deposited in the lungs where they can damage sensitive Radon lung tissue.

How Does Radon Compare 25000 To Other Causes Of Death

Source: U.S. EPA Citizen’s Guide to Radon, 4th edition, May 2004
Radon: EPA Reassessment of Radon Risk in Homes, June 2003
Other: National Safety Council 2002 reports, Center for Disease Control

Radon Is A Lung Cancer Causing Gas

  • Radon decay products inhaled.
  • Particles irradiate lungs.
  • Irradiation can cause lung cancer.

Alpha Particles Are Strong Enough To Pit Plastic

  • Plastic chip from passive radon test (alpha track).
  • Magnified only 100 times.
  • 3 months at EPA Active Level of 4 pCi/L.

EPA & Surgeon General Recommend That People Not Have Exposures Above 4 pCi/L On A Long-Term Basi

  • One is advised to take action if a home is at or above 4.0 pCi/L.
  • Average indoor: 1.3 pCi/L.
  • Average outdoor: 0.4 pCi/L.

How Does Radon Rank As A Cancer Causing Agent?

  • Provides basis for regulatory and liability concerns!
  • Radon is ranked as a Group A carcinogen.
  • Highest ranking for cancer potential.
  • Known to cause cancer in humans.
  • Tobacco smoke and tobacco products in same category.

Radon Distribution

  • Radon enters from beneath foundation and travels upward. Diluted with outdoor air infiltrating building.
  • If radon is less than 4 pCi/L in lower level, one can say with rea – sonable confidence that upper floors are also less than 4 pCi/L.

Test Placement Within A Room

  • 3 feet from windows or exterior doors.
  • At least 20 inches above floor.
  • 4 inches from other objects.
  • Where it won’t be disturbed.

Homes With Radon Concerns Can Be Fixed!

Active soil depressurization is a means of creating a vacuum beneath a slab or plastic sheet and collecting the radon before it enters a building.

An Activated Sub-Slab Depressurization System

Requires key components to achieve adequate sub-slab communication across the entire slab.


  1. 4” layer of good permeable, dry gravel; 3/4 of an inch or larger (#57 gravel min.)
  2. 6 mil vapor membrane between substrate and concrete
  3. Sealed substrate; drain check in drains, caulked/sealed cracks in slab and cold joints etc.

The following conditions may also cause poor communication:

  1. Continuous footing
  2. Insufficient amount of permeable gravel under slab; less than 4” thick layer
  3. Impervious gravel materials such as sand or #9 gravel
  4. High Water Column/Table
  5. Leaky Vacuum; unsealed drain tiles leading to day light, non-sealed cinder blocks

The Radon Mitigation Contractor shall preform, on-site, “Diagnostic Testing” during the installation of the Radon Reduction System to ensure proper communication (PFE) and effectiveness of ASD System. A minimum PFE of -.015” of W.C. must be obtained to guarantee radon results below the EPA’s recommended action level of 4 pCi/L.