Radon gas is found throughout the United States, but the levels vary greatly from area to area. The only way to determine if your home contains high levels of radon is to conduct a test. The average indoor radon level in the U.S. is 1.3 picoCuries per liter of air and the average outdoor level in the U.S. is 0.4 pCi/L. The US Environmental Protection Agency has established an action level of 4.0 pCi/L of Radon in indoor air. The RI Department of Health’s Radon Control Program maintains a database of Radon testing performed in the State. The current average Radon level in Rhode Island is 3.5 pCi/L, which is nearly 3 times the national average. Over 1 in 4 homes tested in Rhode Island has Radon levels exceeding the EPA action level.
Conducting a Radon test is easy and inexpensive. Radon test kits can be obtained from the American Lung Association of RI (401 421-6487), major building supply stores, other retail outlets and any one of the following analytical labs. Initial screening may be conducted with a short-term test kit. A long-term test kit may be used to obtain a better year round average of your home’s radon level. It is important to follow the instructions included with the test kit. This will include instruction on placement of the test kit in the lowest habitable or lived in area of the home, and closing of all doors and windows (except for normal entry and exit) for at least 12 hours prior to exposing the test kit and for the full duration of the test. The test kit must be exposed for the time period stated by the manufacturer for results to be accurate. You may choose to have a certified radon measurement business perform the test for you.
If the results of your test is 4.0 pC/L or greater, it exceeds the EPA’s action level, and additional testing and/or mitigation should be conducted. The higher the level reported, the greater the health risk to you and your family.
The RI Department of Health’s Radon Contol Program is available to assist you in interpreting radon test results and will offer suggestions on retesting and/or mitigation. Please contact us if your short-term results are between 4 and 8 pCi/L we recommend long term testing.
The Rhode Island Rules and Regulations for Radon Control require radon testing in all public and buildings and schools. Testing requirements include: