Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. While it is naturally found outdoors, the way we build and live in our homes allows it to build up to dangerous levels inside.
The only way to know if your home has elevated levels of radon is to test for it. If you would like to order a radon test kit to test your home, click here.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a recommended radon action level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). They recommend that all Iowa homes be tested for radon and homes over 4 pCi/L be fixed.
Iowa has the highest percentage of homes above 4 pCi/L in the nation. The average indoor radon level in Iowa is 8.5 pCi/L, more than six times the national average of 1.4 pCi/L. Even radon levels below 4 pCi/L pose some risk, and in many cases can be reduced.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non smokers.
Radon is responsible for approximately 21,000 deaths each year in the United States.
How do you lower radon levels in your home?
Most radon problems can be corrected with a mitigation system costing between $800 and $2,000 by a
qualified contractor. Occasionally lesser radon problems can be fixed using less expensive techniques such as sealing sump pits and other openings in the foundation.
For more information on sealed sump pits, click here.
A typical radon mitigation system is a 3”- 4” PVC pipe extending from a hole in the basement floor through the roof. A permanent fan supplies suction through the pipe drawing radon from beneath the slab and exhausting it outside above the eaves level of the house.
Iowa law requires professionals who install radon mitigation systems to be certified by the Iowa Department of Public Health. List available by calling the IDPH hotline at 1-800-383-5992 or by clicking here.