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WHAT ARE YOUR RADON LEVELS?

RADON BASICS

Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.  When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer.  The Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.  Get your home scheduled for a test today!

EPA Radon Zone Map

20,000

annual lung cancer deaths

2nd

leading cause of lung cancer

1 in 15

homes with elevated levels

1.5%

risk of lung cancer @ 8pci/L

HISTORICAL AVERAGES

The following average radon readings (pci/L) were conducted by MRT Home Inspections over many years and represent averages divided up into distinct areas.  Included with the averages are the number of tests conducted for each area, as well as the percentage above 4.0 (high) and percentage between 2.0 to 4.0 (marginal).  Areas with more tests likely have more reliable data.  Also noted, is an observation that radon levels tend to read about 1.0 pCi/L lower in the summer months on average. The data should be used as an informational guide and not as an indication of what an individual test will produce. 

Lower Academy = 4.2

Arroyo De Oso, Heritage, Palomas

26 tests | 38% high | 42% marginal

Northeast Heights = 3.9

North Albuquerque Acres, Sandia Heights

26 tests | 42% high | 15% marginal

Placitas = 3.2

The Village of Placitas

6 tests | 17% high | 67% marginal

ABQ Uptown = 3.2

Coronado, Mossman, Snow Heights

19 tests | 21% high | 53% marginal

Upper Valley = 3.1

North Valley, Corrales, Vista Del Norte

19 tests | 16% high | 32% marginal

University = 2.6

UNM, Airport, Fairgrounds

23 tests | 13% high | 52% marginal

Upper Academy = 2.5

Tanoan, Academy Estates, El Dorado

53 tests | 21% high | 26% marginal

East Mountains = 2.5

Cedar Crest, Tijeras, Edgewood, Sandia Park

24 tests | 25% high | 21% marginal

Lower Valley = 2.3

Old Town, Downtown, South Valley

13 tests | 23% high | 31% marginal

Four Hills = 2.3

Four Hills, Chelwood, Supper Rock

27 tests | 7% high | 41% marginal

Indian School Heights = 2.2

Hoffmantown, Princess Jeanne, Embudo

26 tests | 4% high | 50% marginal

The West Side = 1.5

Taylor Ranch, Ventana, Paradise, Ladera, West Gate

40 tests | 8% high | 10% marginal

Rio Rancho = 1.5

Cabezon, Loma Colorado, Chamiza, The Meadows

18 tests | 0% high | 22% marginal

Overall Average = 2.6 pCi/L

320 tests | 19% high | 32% marginal

Summer Season Average = 1.9 pCi/L*

Colder Season Average = 2.9 pCi/L*

*Note:  long term test data suggests that average radon levels are typically about 1.0 pCi/L lower in the summer months.

THE RADON TEST

Step 1: Notification

If a radon test is desired, the first step is to notify the seller of the upcoming test.  This is an important notification, because radon testing requires closed home conditions 12 hours prior to the test and for 48 hours during the test.  Closed home conditions include keeping windows and doors closed (other than momentary use) as well as avoiding the use of exhaust fans, and most importantly, the use of evaporative coolers.  Note:  evaporative coolers often create a difficult situation in the summer, where occupants are expected to survive without cooling or vacate their home for the duration.  Typically notification will be handled between the realtors ahead of the test to ensure that everyone understands the necessary conditions.

Radon Notification

Step 2: Testing

The inspector first assesses whether closed home conditions are present at the start of the test and if there is doubt or evidence of open windows, etc.  the inspector will either reschedule the test or just deploy the monitor for a longer duration to account for the 12 hours of closed home conditions.  The inspector finds an appropriate location, typically a bedroom or living room on the lowest level, and begins the test.  The inspector leaves informational signage to remind the occupants of the closed home requirements and then returns to retrieve the monitor at the end of the test duration.  Again, the inspector evaluates if closed home conditions are still observed at the end of the test.

Radon Monitor

Step 3: Test Evaluation

The inspector evaluates the collected data and presents the findings in report format.  The average radon reading is evaluated with three courses of action.  When the radon reading is 4.0 pCi/L or higher, the EPA highly recommends installing a radon mitigation system to bring the levels to an acceptable level.  If the average is between 2.0 pCi/L and 4.0 pCi/L (ie. greater than half the action level) the EPA recommends the consideration of a mitigation system to lower the levels below half the action level.  This is based on evidence that concentration levels in the 2.0 to 4.0 range still pose a significant health risk and is the reasoning for the World Health Organization's basis of 2.7 pCi/L.  When the levels are lower than 2.0 pCi/L the inspector only recommends retesting about every 5 years or when there has been major renovations or additions to the home.

Radon Test Report
Radon Results
Radon Test Report
Sample Radon Report
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