<&EF¥V Consumer's Guide To
Radon Reduction
How to
fix your

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
Reduce Radon Levels In Your Home
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The Surgeon General
and the EPA recommend testing for radon and reducing radon in homes
that have high levels. Fix your home if your radon level is confirmed to be
4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L
still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced. If you smoke and your
home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Select A State Certified and/or Qualified
Radon Mitigation Contractor
Choose a qualified radon mitigation contractor to fix your home. Start by
checking with your state radon office (see p. 17). Many states require
radon professionals to be licensed, certified, or registered. You can also
contact private radon proficiency programs for lists of privately certified
radon professionals in your area. See page 4 for more information.
Radon Reduction Techniques Work
Radon reduction systems work. Some radon reduction systems can reduce
radon levels in your home by up to 99%. The cost of fixing a home
generally ranges from $800 to $2500 (with an average cost of $1200).
Your costs may vary depending on the size and design of your home and
which radon reduction methods are needed. Hundreds of thousands of
people have reduced radon levels in their homes.
Maintain Your Radon Reduction System
Maintaining your radon reduction system takes little effort and keeps the
system working properly and radon levels low (see p. 13).

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
You have tested your home for radon, but now what? This booklet is for
people who have tested their home for radon and confirmed that they have
elevated radon levels — 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
This booklet can help you:
¦	Select a qualified radon mitigation contractor to reduce the radon levels
in your home
¦	Determine an appropriate radon reduction method
¦	Maintain your radon reduction system
If you want information on how to test your home for radon, call your state radon
office (see p. 17) and ask for a copy of either A Citizen's Guide to Radon or, if
testing during a home sale, the Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon. On-line
versions of both documents are also available at http:lhviviv.epa.govlradonlpubs.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
cause radon problems by themselves,
principal source of elevated radon levels in homes.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive
gas produced by the breakdown of
uranium in soil, rock, and water.
Air pressure inside your home is usually lower
than pressure in the soil around your home's
foundation. Because of this difference in
pressure, your house acts like a vacuum,
drawing radon in through foundation cracks
and other openings. Radon may also be
present in well water and can be released into
the air in your home when water is used for
showering and other household uses. In most
cases, radon entering the home through water
is a small risk compared with radon entering
your home from the soil. In a small number
of homes, the building materials (e.g., granite
and certain concrete products) can give off
radon, although building materials rarely
In the United States, radon gas in soil is the
Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of lung cancer deaths each year.
In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading
cause of lung cancer in the United States. Only smoking causes more lung
cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung
cancer is especially high.
Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. The lower the
radon level in your home, the lower your family's risk of lung cancer.
The amount of radon in the air is measured in "picocuries of radon per liter
of air," or "pCi/L." Sometimes test results are expressed in Working Levels, "WL,"
rather than picocuries per liter of air. A level of 0.02 WL is usually equal to about
4 pCi/L in a typical home.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
The U.S. Congress has set a long-term
goal that indoor radon levels be no more
than outdoor levels; about 0.4 pCi/L of
radon is normally found in the outside
air. EPA recommends fixing your home
if the results of one long-term test or the
average of two short-term tests show
radon levels of 4 pCi/L (or 0.02 WL) or
higher. With today's technology, radon
levels in most homes can be reduced to
2 pCi/L or below. You may also want
to consider fixing if the level is between
2 and 4 pCi/L.
A short-term test remains in your home
for 2 days to 90 days, whereas a long-term
test remains in your home for more than
90 days. All radon tests should be taken
for a minimum of 48 hours. A short-
term test will yield faster results, but a
long-term test will give a better
understanding of your home's year-
round average radon level.
The EPA recommends two categories
of radon testing. One category is for
concerned homeowners or occupants
whose house is not for sale; refer to
EPA's pamphlet A Citizens Guide to
Radon for testing guidance. The second
category is for real estate transactions;
refer to EPA's pamphlet Home Buyer's
and Seller's Guide to Radon, which
provides guidance and answers to some
common questions.
Since you cannot see or smell radon,
special equipment is needed to detect
it. When you're ready to test your
home, contact your state radon office
(see p. 17) for information on locating
qualified test kits or qualified radon
testers. You can also order test kits
and obtain information from a radon
hotline (see p. 17). There are two types
of radon testing devices. Passive
radon testing devices do not need
power to function. These include
charcoal canisters, alpha-track
detectors, charcoal liquid scintillation
devices, and electret ion chamber
detectors. Both short- and long-term
passive devices are generally
inexpensive. Active radon testing
devices require power to function and
usually provide hourly readings and an
average result for the test period.
These include continuous radon
monitors and continuous working
level monitors, and these tests may
cost more. A state or local official can
explain the differences between
devices and recommend ones which
are most appropriate for your needs
and expected testing conditions.
Make sure to use a radon testing
device from a qualified laboratory.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
EPA recommends that you have a qualified radon mitigation contractor fix your
home because lowering high radon levels requires specific technical knowledge
and special skills. Without the proper equipment or technical knowledge,
you could actually increase your radon level or create other potential hazards and
additional costs. However, if you decide to do the work yourself, get information
on appropriate training courses and copies of EPA's technical guidance documents
from your state radon office.
EPA recommends that you use a state certified and/or qualified radon
mitigation contractor trained to fix radon problems. You can determine a
service provider's qualifications to perform radon measurements or to mitigate
your home in several ways. First, check with your state radon office (see p. 17).
Many states require radon professionals to be licensed, certified, or registered, and
to install radon mitigation systems that meet state requirements. Most states can
provide you with a list of knowledgeable radon service providers doing business in
the state. In states that don't regulate radon services, ask the contractor if they hold
a professional proficiency or certification credential, and if they follow industry
consensus standards such as the American Society for Testing and Materials
(ASTM) Standard Practice for Installing Radon Mitigation Systems in Existing
Low-Rise Residential Buildings, E2121 (March 2001), or the U.S. EPA's Radon
Mitigation Standards (EPA 402-R-93-078, revised April 1994). You can contact
private proficiency programs for lists of privately-certified professionals in your
area. Such programs usually provide members with a photo-ID card, which
indicates their qualification(s) and the ID-card's expiration date. For more
information on private proficiency programs, visit xvxvxv.epa.govlradonl
proficiency.html, or contact your state radon office.
Get Estimates
Choose a contractor to fix a radon problem just as you would choose someone
to do other home repairs. It is wise to get more than one estimate, to ask for
references, and to contact some of those references to ask if they are satisfied with
the contractors' work. Also, ask your state radon office or your county/state
consumer protection office for information about the contractors.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
Use this checklist when evaluating and comparing contractors and ask the
following questions:
~	~ Will the contractor provide references or photographs, as well as test results of
before' and after' radon levels of past radon reduction work?
~	~ Can the contractor explain what the work will involve, how long it will take to
complete, and exactly how the radon reduction system will work?
~	~ Does the contractor charge a fee for any diagnostic tests? Although many
contractors give free estimates, they may charge for diagnostic tests. These tests
help determine what type of radon reduction system should be used and in some
cases are necessary, especially if the contractor is unfamiliar with the type of house
structure or the anticipated degree of difficulty. See " Radon Reduction
Techniques" (p. 8) for more on diagnostic tests.
~	~ Did the contractor inspect your home's structure before giving you an estimate?
~	~ Did the contractor review the quality of your radon measurement results and
determine if appropriate testing procedures were followed?
Compare the contractor's proposed costs and consider what you get for your
money, taking into account: (1) a less expensive system may cost more to operate
and maintain; (2) a less expensive system may have less aesthetic appeal; (3) a more
expensive system may be best for your house; and, (4) the quality of the building
material will affect how long the system lasts.
Do the contractors' proposals and estimates include:
~	~ Proof of state certification and/or professional proficiency or certification
~	~ Proof of liability insurance and being bonded, and having all necessary licenses to
satisfy local requirements?
~	~ Diagnostic testing prior to design and installation of a radon reduction system?
~	~ Installation of a warning device to caution you if the radon reduction system is not
working correctly?
~	~ Testing after installation to make sure the radon reduction system works well?
~	~ A guarantee to reduce radon levels to 4 pCi/L or below, and if so, for how long?
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
The Contract
Ask the contractor to prepare a contract before any work starts. Carefully read
the contract before you sign it. Make sure everything in the contract matches the
original proposal. The contract should describe exactly what work will be done
prior to and during the installation
of the system, what the system consists
of, and how the system will operate.
Many contractors provide a guarantee
that they will adjust or modify the
system to reach a negotiated radon
level. Carefully read the conditions
of the contract describing the
guarantee. Carefully consider
optional additions to your contract
which may add to the initial cost of
the system, but may be worth the
extra expense. Typical options might include an extended warranty, a service plan,
and/or improved aesthetics.
Important information that should appear in the contract includes:
CH The total cost of the job, including all taxes and permit fees; how much,
if any, is required for a deposit; and when payment is due in full.
CH The time needed to complete the work.
CH An agreement by the contractor to obtain necessary permits and follow
required building codes.
~	A statement that the contractor carries liability insurance and is bonded
and insured to protect you in case of injury to persons, or damage to
property, while the work is being done.
~	A guarantee that the contractor will be responsible for damage during the
job and clean-up after the job.
~	Details of any guarantee to reduce radon below a negotiated level.
~	Details of warranties or other optional features associated with the
hardware components of the mitigation system.
~	A declaration stating whether any warranties or guarantees are transferable
if you sell your home.
~	A description of what the contractor expects the homeowner to do
(e.g., make the work area accessible) before work begins.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
In selecting a radon reduction method for your home, you and your contractor
should consider several things, including: how high your initial radon level is,
the costs of installation and system operation, your house size, and your
foundation type.
Installation and
Operating Costs
The cost of a contractor fixing a home
generally ranges from $800 to $2500,
depending on the characteristics of the
house and choice of radon reduction
methods. The average cost of a radon
reduction system is about $1200.
Most types of radon reduction
systems cause some loss of heated or
air conditioned air, which could
increase your utility bills. How much
your utility bills increase will depend on the climate you live in, what kind of
reduction system you select, and how your house is built. Systems that use fans are
more effective in reducing radon levels; however, they will slightly increase your
electric bill. The table on page 16 lists the installation and average operating costs
for different radon reduction systems and describes the best use of each method.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
There are several methods that a contractor
can use to lower radon levels in your
home. Some techniques prevent radon
from entering your home while others reduce
radon levels after it has entered. EPA generally
recommends methods which prevent the entry
of radon. Soil suction, for example, prevents
radon from entering your home by drawing
the radon from below the house and venting it
through a pipe, or pipes, to the air above the
house where it is quickly diluted.
Any information that you may have about
the construction of your house could help
your contractor choose the best system.
Your contractor will perform a visual inspection of your house and design a system
that considers specific features of your house. If this inspection fails to provide
enough information, the contractor may need to perform diagnostic tests during
the initial phase of the installation to help develop the best radon reduction system
for your home. For instance, your contractor can use chemical smoke to find the
source and direction of air movement. A contractor can learn air flow sources and
directions by watching a small amount of smoke that he or she shot into holes,
drains, sumps, or along cracks. The sources of air flow show possible radon routes.
A contractor may have concerns about backdrafting of combustion appliances when
considering radon mitigation options, and may recommend that the homeowner
have the appliance(s) checked by a qualified inspector.
Another type of diagnostic test is a "soil communication test." This test uses a
vacuum cleaner and chemical smoke to determine how easily air can move from one
point to another under the foundation. By inserting a vacuum cleaner hose in one
small hole and using chemical smoke in a second small hole, a contractor can see if
the smoke is pulled down into the second hole by the force of the vacuum cleaner's
suction. Watching the smoke during a soil communication test helps a contractor
decide if certain radon reduction systems would work well in your house.
Whether diagnostic tests are needed is decided by details specific to your house,
such as the foundation design, what kind of material is under your house, and by
the contractor's experience with similar houses and similar radon test results.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
House Foundation Types
Your house type will affect the kind of radon reduction system that will work best.
Houses are generally categorized according to their foundation design. For example:
basement, slab-on-grade (concrete poured at ground level), or crawlspace
(a shallow unfinished space under the first floor). Some houses have more than
one foundation design feature. For instance, it is common to have a basement
under part of the house and to have a slab-on-grade or crawlspace under the rest
of the house. In these situations a combination of radon reduction techniques may
be needed to reduce radon levels to below 4 pCi/L.
Radon reduction systems can be grouped by house foundation design. Find your
type of foundation design above and read about which radon reduction systems
may be best for your house.
Basement and Slab-on-Grade Houses
In houses that have a basement or a slab-on-grade foundation, radon is usually
reduced by one of four types of soil suction: subslab suction, drain tile suction,
sump hole suction, or block wall suction.

Active subslab suction (also called subslab
depressurization) is the most common and
usually the most reliable radon reduction
method. One or more suction pipes are
inserted through the floor slab into the
crushed rock or soil underneath. They also
may be inserted below the concrete slab
from outside the house. The number and
location of suction pipes that are needed
depends on how easily air can move in
the crushed rock or soil under the slab,
and on the strength of the radon source.
Often, only a single suction point is needed.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
A contractor usually gets this information from visual inspection, from diagnostic
tests, and/or from experience. A radon vent fan connected to the suction pipe(s)
draws the radon gas from below the house and releases it into the outdoor air
while simultaneously creating a negative pressure (vacuum) beneath the slab.
Common fan locations include unconditioned house and garage spaces, including
attics, and the exterior of the house.
Passive subslab suction is the same as active subslab suction except it relies on natural
pressure differentials and air currents instead of a fan to draw radon up from below
the house. Passive subslab suction is usually associated with radon-resistant features
installed in newly constructed homes (see p. 14). Passive subslab suction is generally
not as effective in reducing high radon levels as active subslab suction.
Some houses have drain tiles or perforated pipe to direct water away from the
foundation of the house. Suction on these tiles or pipes is often effective in
reducing radon levels.
One variation of subslab and drain tile suction is sump hole suction. Often, when
a house with a basement has a sump pump to remove unwanted water, the sump
can be capped so that it can continue to drain water and serve as the location for a
radon suction pipe.
Block wall suction can be used in basement houses with hollow block foundation
walls. This method removes radon and depressurizes the block wall, similar to
subslab suction. This method is often used in combination with subslab suction.
Crawlspace Houses
An effective method to reduce radon levels in crawlspace houses involves covering
the earth floor with a high-density plastic sheet. A vent pipe and fan are used to
draw the radon from under the sheet and vent it to the outdoors. This form of soil
suction is called submembrane suction, and when properly applied is the most
effective way to reduce radon levels in crawlspace houses. Another less-favorable
option is active crawlspace depressurization which involves drawing air directly
from the crawlspace using a fan. This technique generally does not work as well as
submembrane suction and requires special attention to combustion appliance
backdrafting and sealing the crawlspace from other portions of the house, and may
also result in increased energy costs due to loss of conditioned air from the house.
In some cases, radon levels can be lowered by ventilating the crawlspace passively
(without the use of a fan) or actively (with the use of a fan). Crawlspace ventilation
may lower indoor radon levels both by reducing the home's suction on the soil and by
diluting the radon beneath the house. Passive ventilation in a crawlspace is achieved
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
by opening vents, or installing additional vents. Active ventilation uses a fan to blow
air through the crawlspace instead of relying on natural air circulation. In colder
climates, for either passive or active crawlspace ventilation, water pipes, sewer
lines and appliances in the crawlspace may need to be insulated against the cold.
These ventilation options could result in increased energy costs for the house.
Other Types of Radon Reduction Methods
Other radon reduction techniques that can be used in any type of house
include: sealing, ho use/room pressurization, heat recovery ventilation, and
natural ventilation.
Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation is a basic part of most
approaches to radon reduction. Sealing the cracks limits the flow of radon into
your home thereby making other radon reduction techniques more effective and
cost-efficient. It also reduces the loss of conditioned air. EPA does not recommend
the use of sealing alone to reduce radon because, by itself, sealing has not been shoivn
to loiver radon levels significantly or consistently. It is difficult to identify and
permanently seal the places where radon is entering. Normal settling of your
house opens new entry routes and reopens old ones.
House/room pressurization uses a fan to blow air into the basement or living area
from either upstairs or outdoors. It attempts to create enough pressure at the lowest
level indoors (in a basement for example) to prevent radon from entering into the
house. The effectiveness of this technique is limited by house construction,
climate, other appliances in the house, and occupant lifestyle. In order to maintain
enough pressure to keep radon out, the doors and windows at the lowest level must
not be left opened, except for normal entry and exit. This approach generally
results in more outdoor air being introduced into the home, which can cause
moisture intrusion and energy penalties. Consequently, this technique should only be
considered afier the other, more-common techniques have not sufficiently reduced radon.
A heat recovery ventilator (HRV), also called an air-to-air heat exchanger, can be
installed to increase ventilation which will help reduce the radon levels in your home.
An HRV will increase ventilation by introducing outdoor air while using the heated
or cooled air being exhausted to warm or cool the incoming air. HRVs can be
designed to ventilate all or part of your home, although they are more effective in
reducing radon levels when used to ventilate only the basement. If properly balanced
and maintained, they ensure a constant degree of ventilation throughout the year.
HRVs also can improve air quality in houses that have other indoor pollutants.
There could be significant increase in the heating and cooling costs with an HRV,
but not as great as ventilation without heat recovery (see p. 16).
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
Some natural ventilation occurs in all houses. By opening windows, doors, and
vents on the lower floors you increase the ventilation in your house. This increase
in ventilation mixes outdoor air with the indoor air containing radon, and can
result in reduced radon levels. However, once windows, doors and vents are closed,
radon concentrations most often return to previous values within about 12 hours.
Natural ventilation in any type of house should normally be regarded as only a
temporary radon reduction approach because of the following disadvantages: loss of
conditioned air and related discomfort, greatly increased costs of conditioning additional
outside air, and security concerns.
Below is a list of basic installation requirements that your contractor should
meet when installing a radon reduction system in your home. It is
important to verify with your contractor that the radon mitigation standards
are properly met to ensure that your radon reduction system will be effective.
You can also check with your state radon office to see if there are state
requirements that your contractor must meet.
~	Radon reduction systems must be clearly labeled. This will avoid accidental changes
to the system which could disrupt its function.
~	The exhaust pipe(s) of soil suction systems must vent above the surface of the roof
and 10 feet or more above the ground, and at least 10 feet away from windows,
doors, or other openings that could allow the radon to reenter the house, if the
exhaust pipe(s) do not vent at least 2 feet above these openings.
~	The exhaust fan must not be located in or below a livable area. For instance, it
should be in an unoccupied attic of the house or outside — not in a basement!
~	If installing an exhaust fan outside, the contractor must install a fan that meets
local building codes for exterior use.
~	Electrical connections of all active radon reduction systems must be installed
according to local electrical codes.
~	A warning device must be installed to alert you if an active system stops working
properly. Examples of system failure warning devices are: a liquid gauge, a sound
alarm, a light indicator, and a dial (needle display) gauge. The warning device must
be placed where it can be seen or heard easily. Your contractor should check that the
warning device works. Later on, if your monitor shows that the system is not
working properly, call a contractor to have it checked.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
~	A post-mitigation radon test should be done within 30 days of system installation,
but no sooner than 24 hours after your system is in operation with the fan on, if it
has one. The contractor may perform a post-mitigation test to check his work and
the initial effectiveness of the system; however, it is recommend that you also get an
independent follow-up radon measurement. Having an independent tester perform
the test, or conducting the measurement yourself, will eliminate any potential
conflict of interest. To test the system's effectiveness, a 2-7 day measurement is
recommended. Test conditions: windows and doors must be closed 12 hours before
and during the test, except for normal entry/exit.
~	Make sure your contractor completely explains your radon reduction system,
demonstrates how it operates, and explains how to maintain it. Ask for written
operating and maintenance instructions and copies of any warranties.
Maintaining Your Radon Reduction System
Similar to a furnace or chimney, radon reduction systems need some occasional
maintenance. You should look at your warning device on a regular basis to make
sure the system is working correctly. Fans may last for five years or more
(manufacturer warranties tend not to exceed five years) and may then need to be
repaired or replaced. Replacing a fan will cost around $200 - $350 including parts
and labor. It is a good idea to retest your home at least every two years to be sure
radon levels remain low.
Remember, the fan should NEVER be turned off it must run continuously for the
system to ivork correctly.
The filter in an HRV requires periodic cleaning and should be changed twice a year.
Replacement filters for an HRV are easily changed and are priced between $10 and
$25. Ask your contractor where filters can be purchased. Also, the vent that brings
fresh air in from the outside needs to be inspected for leaves and debris. The ventilator
should be checked annually by a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning professional
to make sure the air flow remains properly balanced. HRVs used for radon control
should run all the time.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
Remodeling Your Home After Radon Levels
Have Been Lowered
If you decide to make major structural changes to your home after you have had a
radon reduction system installed (such as converting an unfinished basement area
into living space), ask your radon contractor whether these changes could void any
warranties. If you are planning to add a new foundation for an addition to your
house, ask your radon contractor about what measures should be taken to ensure
reduced radon levels throughout the home. After you remodel, retest in the lowest
lived-in area to make sure the construction did not reduce the effectiveness of the
radon reduction system.
If you are buying or selling a home and need
to make decisions about radon, consult EPA's
Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon.
If you are selling a home that has a radon
reduction system, inform potential buyers
and supply them with information about
your system's operation and maintenance. If you
are building a new house, consider that it is almost always
less expensive to build radon-resistant features into new construction than it is to
fix an existing house that has high radon levels. Ask your builder if he or she uses
radon-resistant construction features. Your builder can refer to EPA's document
Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide On Hoiv To Build Radon-Resistant
Homes, or your builder can work with a qualified contractor to design and install
the proper radon reduction system. To obtain EPA's technical documents or to
find a qualified contractor, contact your state radon office (see p. 17). All homes
should be tested for radon and elevated radon levels should be reduced. Even new
homes built with radon-resistant features should be tested after occupancy to
ensure that radon levels are below 4 pCi/L. If you have a test result of 4 pCi/L
or more, you can have a qualified mitigator easily add a vent fan to an existing
passive system for about $300 and further reduce the radon level in your home.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
Most often, the radon in your home's indoor air can come from two sources,
the soil or your water supply Compared to radon entering your home
through water, radon entering your home through soil is usually a much
larger risk. If you are concerned about radon and you have a private well, consider
testing for radon in both air and water. By testing for radon in both air and water,
the results could enable you to more completely assess the radon mitigation
option(s) best suited to your situation. The devices and procedures for testing your
home's water supply are different from those used for measuring radon in air.
The radon in your water supply poses an inhalation risk and a small ingestion risk.
Most of your risk from radon in water comes from radon released into the air when
water is used for showering and other household purposes. Research has shown
that your risk of lung cancer from breathing radon in air is much larger than your
risk of stomach cancer from swallowing water with radon in it.
Radon in your home's water in not usually a problem when its source is surface water.
A radon in water problem is more likely when its source is ground water, e.g., a
private well or a public water supply system that uses ground water. Some public
water systems treat their water to reduce radon levels before it is delivered to your
home. If you are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the
water and your water comes from a public water supply, contact your water supplier.
If you've tested your private well and have a radon in water problem, it can be easily
fixed. Your home's water supply can be treated in one of two ways. Point-of-entry
treatment for the whole house can effectively remove radon from the water before it
enters your home's water distribution system. Point-of-entry treatment usually
employs either granular activated carbon (GAC) filters or aeration systems. While
GAC filters usually cost less than aeration systems, filters can collect radioactivity and
may require a special method of disposal. Both GAC filters and aeration systems
have advantages and disadvantages that should be discussed with your state radon
office (see p. 17) or a water treatment professional. Point-of-use treatment devices
remove radon from your water at the tap, but only treat a small portion of the water
you use, e.g., the water you drink. Point-of-use devices are not effective in reducing
the risk from breathing radon released into the air from all water used in the home.
For information on radon in water, testing and treatment, and radon in drinking
water standards, or for general help, call your state radon office (see p. 17) or EPA's
Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or visit http://rvrvrv.epa.gov/safervater/
radon.html. Your state radon office can assist you in obtaining radon-in-water test
kits and interpreting test results.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
Typical Range
of Installation
Operating Cost
Range for Fan
Electricity &
Air Loss
Subslab Suction
S800 - 2500
$50 - 200
Works best if air can move easily in
material under slab
Passive Subslab
S550 - 2250
There may be
some energy
May be more effective in cold climates;
not as effective as active subslab
Draintile Suction
50 - 99%
S800 - 1700
$50 - 200
Can work with either partial or
complete drain tile loops
Blockwall Suction
S1500 - 3000
$100 - 400
Only in homes with hollow biockwalls;
requires sealing of major openings
Sump Hole
S800 - 2500
$50 - 250
Works best if air moves easily to the
sump from under the slab
in a Crawlspace
S1000 - 2500
$50 - 250
Less heat loss than natural ventilation
in cold winter climates
Natural Ventilation
in a Crawlspace
S200 • 500 if
vents installed
There may be
some energy
Costs variable
Sealing of Radon
Entry Routes
Normally only used with other
techniques; proper materials &
installation required
House (Basement)
50 - 99%
S500 - 1500
$150 - 500
Works best with tight basement
isolated from outdoors & upper floors
Natural Ventilation
S200 - 500 if
vents installed
$100 - 700
Significant heated/cooled air loss;
operating costs depend on utility rates
& amount of ventilation
Heat Recovery
Ventilation (HRV)
S1200 - 2500
$75 - 500 for
Limited use: effectiveness limited by
radon concentration and the amount of
ventilation air available for dilution by
the HRV. Best applied in limited-space
areas like basements.
Private Well
Water Systems:
95 - 99%
S3000 - 4500
Generally more efficient than GAC;
requires annual cleaning to maintain
effectiveness & to prevent
contamination; requires venting radon
to outdoors
Private Well
Water Systems:
Granular Activated
Carbon (GAC)
85 - 95%
$1000 - 3000
Less efficient for higher levels than
aeration; use for moderate levels
(around 5000 pCi/L or less in water);
radioactive radon by-products can
build on carbon; may need radiation
shield around tank & care in disposal
NOTES: (1) The fan electricity and house heating/cooling loss cost range is based on certain assumptions regarding climate,
your house size, and the cost of electricity and fuel. Your costs may vary.
(2) Costs for cosmetic treatments to the house may increase the typical installation costs shown above.
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003

A Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction
State Radon Contacts
Up-to-date phone information about how to
contact your state radon office is available at
http://www.epa.gov/iaq/contacts.html. You can
also get information about your state contacts by
calling the Indoor Air Quality Information
Clearinghouse (lAQ-lnfo) at 1-800-438-4318.
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
Tribal Radon Program Offices
Hopi Tribe (Arizona)	(928) 734-3100
Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona	(602) 307-1509
Navajo Nation	(928) 871 -7692
U.S. EPA, 402-K-03-002, Revised February 2003
EPA Radon Website
EPA's main radon home page. Includes links
to publications, hotlines, private proficiency
programs, and more.
EPA Regional Offices
http://www. epa.go v/iaq/regionia.html
Check this website for a listing of your EPA
regional office.
EPA Publications
Most EPA radon publications are available
from any one of the following hotlines:
Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse,
operated by an EPA contractor. For general
radon and indoor air quality information and
copies of EPA publications.
1-800-644-6999 (Fix-it)*
Operated by the Consumer Federation of
America Foundation in partnership with
EPA. Provides answers to your mitigation
1-800-SOS-RADON (767-7236)*
Operated by National Safety Council in
partnership with EPA. Order radon test kits
by phone.
1-800-55RADON (557-2366)*
Operated by National Safety Council in
partnership with EPA. For live help with your
radon questions.
Spanish language hotline, operated by the
National Alliance for Hispanic Health in
partnership with EPA. For general help with
radon, testing, and mitigation questions, and
free test kits.
Safe Drinking Water Hotline, privately
operated under contract to EPA. For general
information on drinking water, radon in water,
testing and treatment, and radon drinking
water standards.
'These hotline numbers are subject to change, for
up-to-date information call 1-800-438-4318.
Toil-Free Local
(800) 582-1866
(334) 206-5391
(800) 478-8324
(907) 474-7201
(800) 482-5400
(800) 745-7236
(916) 324-2208
(800) 846-3986
(303) 692-3090
(860) 509-7367
(800) 464-4357
(302) 739-4731
(202) 535-2999
(800) 543-8279
(850) 245-4288
(800) 745-0037
(404) 872-3549
(808) 586-4700
(800) 445-8647
(208) 332-7319
(800) 325-1245
(217) 785-9958
(800) 272-9723
(317) 233-7147
(800) 383-5992
(800) 693-5343
(785) 296-1560
(502) 564-4856
(800) 256-2494
(225) 925-7042
(800) 232-0842
(207) 287-5676
(800) 723-6695
(413) 586-7525
(800) 723-6642
(517) 335-8037
(800) 798-9050
(800) 626-7739
(601) 987-6893
(800) 669-7236
(800) 546-0483
(406) 444-6768
(800) 334-9491
(402) 471-0594
(800) 852-3345 X4674
(603) 271-4674
(800) 648-0394
(609) 984-5425
(800) 219-6157
(505) 827-2855
(800) 458-1158
(518) 402-7556
(800) 252-6325
(800) 523-4439
(614) 644-2727
(405) 702-5100
(800) 237-2366
(717) 783-3594
(787) 274-7815
(401) 222-2438
(800) 768-0362
(803) 898-3890
(800) 438-3367
(605) 773-3151
(615) 299-9725
(800) 572-5548
(512) 834-6688
(800) 458-0145
(801) 536-4250
(800) 439-8550
(802) 865-7730
(800) 468-0138
(804) 786-5932
(360) 236-3253
(800) 922-1255
(304) 558-6772
(888) 569-7236
(608) 267-4796
(800) 458-5847
(307) 777-6015

Consumer Federation of America Foundation
strongly urges consumers to have elevated radon
levels in their home reduced. EPA's Consumer's
Guide to Radon Reduction will assist these
individuals and offers very good advice for
selecting and working with a qualified radon