EPA 402/K-10/002 I January 2010 I www.epa.gov/radon
United States
Environmental Protection
    Consumer's Guide
    To Radon Reduction
    How to fix your home

                       Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Reduce Radon Levels In Your Home
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The Surgeon General
and 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. Many states require radon
professionals to be licensed, certified, or registered. You also can contact
private radon proficiency programs for lists of privately certified radon
professionals in your area. See pages 4 and 17 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 percent. The cost of fixing
a home generally ranges from $800 to $2,500, with an average cost of
$1,200. 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 page 13 for more
A Consumer's Guide To Radon Reduction

       ou 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 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 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." Online
versions of both documents are also available at http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs.
                                                www.epa.gov/radon    1

                                  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 home acts
                             like a vacuum, drawing radon in through
                             foundation cracks and other openings.
                             Radon also may 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 — such as
                             granite and certain concrete products — can
                             give off radon, although building materials
rarely cause radon problems by themselves. In the United States, radon gas in
soil is the principal source of elevated radon levels in homes.

     Radon is estimated to cause 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.

     Aiy 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 pCi/L. Sometimes test
results are expressed in working levels, WL, rather than pCi/L of air. A level of
0.016 WL is usually equal to about 4 pCi/L in a typical home.
   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 0.016 WL, or higher.
With today's technology, radon levels
in most homes can be reduced to  2
pCi/L or below. You also may want to
consider fixing if the level is between 2
and 4 pCi/L.

A short-term test remains in your home
for two 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 you a better understanding of
your home's year-round average radon

EPA recommends two categories of
radon testing. One category is for
concerned homeowners or occupants
whose home is not for sale; refer to
EPA's pamphlet "A Citizen's 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.
           TEST KIT
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
for  information on  locating  qualified
test  kits or qualified  radon  testers.
You also can order test kits and obtain
information   at   http://www.sosradon.
org.  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 the devices and recommend
ones that are most appropriate for your
needs and expected  testing conditions.
Make sure to use a radon testing device
from a qualified laboratory.
                                                        www.epa.gov/radon     3

     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 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. 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, February 2003. 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 qualifications and the ID card's expiration date. For more information on
private proficiency programs, visit http://www.epa.gov/radon/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 or
state consumer protection office for information about the contractors.
    A Consumer's Guide To Radon Reduction

Use this checklist when evaluating and comparing contractors and ask the
following questions:
D   D
D   D
D   D
D   D
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" on page 8 for more on diagnostic tests.

Did the contractor inspect your home's structure before giving you an

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: a less expensive system may cost more to operate
and maintain; a less expensive system may have less aesthetic appeal; a more
expensive system may be best for your home; and, the quality of the building
material will affect how long the system lasts.

Do the contractors' proposals and estimates include:

n   n   Proof of state certification, professional proficiency or certification
n   n   Proof of liability insurance and being bonded, and having all necessary
          licenses to satisfy local requirements?
D   D   Diagnostic testing prior to design and installation of a radon reduction
D   D   Installation of a warning device to caution you if the radon reduction system
          is not working correctly?
D   D   Testing after installation to make sure the radon reduction system works
D   D   A guarantee to reduce radon levels to 4 pCi/L or below? And if so, for how

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 that 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 or improved aesthetics.

Important information that should appear in the contract includes:
    n  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
    CH  The time needed to complete the work.
    n  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 cleanup 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,
        such as make the work area accessible, before work begins.
    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 home size, and your
foundation type.

Installation and
Operating Costs
The cost of a contractor fixing a home
generally ranges from $800 to $2,500,
depending on the characteristics of the
home and choice of radon reduction
methods. The average cost of a radon
reduction system is about $1,200.

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 home 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.

                                    There are several methods 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 that prevent
                               the entry of radon. Soil suction, for example.
                               prevents radon from entering your home by
                               drawing the radon from below the home and
                               venting it through a pipe, or pipes, to the air
                               above the home where it is quickly diluted.

                               Any information that you may have about
                               the construction of your home could help
                               your contractor choose the best system. Your
contractor will perform a visual inspection of your home and design a system
that considers specific features of your home. 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 appliances 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 home.

Whether diagnostic tests are needed is decided by details specific to your home,
such as the foundation design, what kind of material is under your home, and by
the contractor's experience with similar homes and similar radon test results.
    A Consumer's Guide To Radon Reduction

Home Foundation Types
Your home type will affect the kind of radon reduction system that will work
best. Homes 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 homes have
more than one foundation design feature. For instance, it is common to have
a basement under part of the home and to have a slab-on-grade or crawlspace
under the rest of the home. 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 home foundation design. Find your
type of foundation design above and read about which radon reduction systems
may be best for your home.
Basement and Slab-on-Grade Homes
In homes 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
                                 home. 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.

 A contractor usually gets this information from visual inspection, from diagnostic
 tests or from experience. A radon vent fan connected to the suction pipes draws
 the radon gas from below the home and releases it into the outdoor air while
 simultaneously creating a negative pressure or vacuum beneath the slab. Common
 fan locations include unconditioned home and garage spaces, including attics and
 the exterior of the home.

 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 home. Passive subslab suction is usually associated with radon-
 resistant features installed in newly constructed homes. Passive subslab suction
 is generally not as effective in reducing high radon levels as active subslab

 Some homes have drain tiles or perforated pipe to direct water away from
 the foundation of the home. 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 home 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 homes 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.

 Crawl space Homes
 An effective method to reduce radon levels in crawlspace homes 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 homes. 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 home. It also may result in increased energy costs due to loss of conditioned
 air from the home.

 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 home. Passive ventilation in a
10   A Consumer's Guide To Radon Reduction

crawlspace is achieved 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 home.

Other Types of Radon Reduction Methods
Other radon reduction techniques that can be used in any type of home include:
sealing, house or room pressurization, heat recovery ventilation and natural

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 shown to lower radon levels significantly or consistently. It is
difficult to identify and permanently seal the places where radon is entering.
Normal settling of your home opens new entry routes and reopens old ones.

House or 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 home. The effectiveness of this technique is limited by
home construction, climate, other appliances in the home 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 after the other, more-common techniques
have not  sufficiently reduced radon.

A heat recovery ventilator, or 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 homes 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.
                                                      www.epa.gov/radon   11

 Some natural ventilation occurs in all homes. By opening windows, doors
 and vents on the lower floors, you increase the ventilation in your home. 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 home 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 also can check with your state radon office to see if there are state
 requirements that your contractor must meet.

     CH  Radon reduction systems must be clearly labeled. This will avoid accidental
         changes to the system that could disrupt its function.

     CH  The exhaust pipes of soil suction systems must vent above the surface of the
         roof and 10 feet or more above the ground, and must be at least 10 feet away
         from windows, doors or other openings that could allow radon to reenter the
         home, if the exhaust pipes do not vent at least 2 feet above these openings.

     CH  The exhaust fan must not be located in or below a livable area. For instance, it
         should be in an unoccupied attic of the home or outside — not in a basement.

     CH  If installing an exhaust fan outside, the contractor must install a fan that  meets
         local building codes for exterior use.

     CH  Electrical connections of all active radon reduction systems must be installed
         according to local electrical codes.

     CH  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, or 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.
12   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 two- to seven-day measurement is recommended. Test
        conditions: windows and doors must be closed 12 hours before and during the
        test, except for normal entry and 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 to $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 work 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.
                                                     www.epa.gov/radon   13

 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 home, ask your radon contractor 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 home, consider
 that it is almost always less expensive to build radon-resistant features into new
 construction than it is to fix an existing home 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 How 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. 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 add a vent fan to an existing passive system for about $300 to further
 reduce the radon level in your home.
14  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
options 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, such
as 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 home 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, or 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 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, such as 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 or visit http://www.
epa.gov/safewater/radon.html. Your state radon office can assist you in obtaining
radon-in-water test kits and interpreting test results.
                                                      www.epa.gov/radon   15

Subslab Suction
Passive Subslab Suction
Draintile Suction
Block-Wall Suction
Sump-Hole Suction
Depresserization in a
Natural Ventilation in a
Sealing of Radon Entry
House (Basement)
Natural Ventilation
Heat Recovery
Ventilation (HRV)
Private Well Water
Systems: Aeration
Private Well Water
Systems: Granular
Activated Carbon, or
Typical Radon
50 to 99
30 to 70
50 to 99
50 to 99
50 to 99
50 to 99
50 to 99
Variable/ See
95 to 99
85 to 95
Typical Range
of Installation
$800 to
$550 to
$800 to
$1,500 to
$800 to
$1,000 to
$200 to $500
if additional
vents installed
$100 to
$500 to
$200 to $500
if additional
vents installed
$1,200 to
$3 ,000 to
$1,000 to
Operating Cost
Range for Fan
Electricity &
Air Loss
$50 to $200
There may be
some energy
$50 to $200
$100 to $400
$50 to $250
$50 to $250
There may be
some energy
$150 to $500
$100 to $700
$75 to $500
for continous
$50 to $150
Works best if air can move easily in
material under slab.
May be more effective in cold
climates; not as effective as active
subslab suction.
Can work with either partial or
complete drain tile loops.
Only in homes with hollow block-walls;
requires sealing of major openings.
Works best if air moves easily to sump
from under the slab.
Less heat loss than natural ventilation
in cold winter climates.
Costs variable.
Normally only used with other
techniques; proper materials and
installation required.
Works best with tight basement
isolated from outdoors and upper
Significant heated or cooled air loss;
operating costs depend on utility rates
and amount of ventilation.
Limited use; effectiveness limited by
radon concentration or the ammount
of ventilation air available for dilution
by the HRV. Best Applied in limited-
space areas like basements.
Generally more efficient than
GAC; requires annual cleaning to
maintain effectiveness and to prevent
contamination; requires venting radon
to outdoors.
Less efficient for higher levels than
aeration; use for moderate levels,
around 50,000 pCi/L or less in water:
radioactive radon by-products can
build on carbon; may need radiation
shield around tank and care in
 NOTES:  (1) The fan electricity and home heating/cooling loss cost range is based on certain assumptions regarding climate,
        your home's size, and the cost of electricity and fuel. Your costs may vary.
       (2) Costs for cosmetic treatments to the home may increase the typical installation costs shown above.
16  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
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
(800) 478-8324
(800) 482-5400
(800) 745-7236
(800) 846-3986
(860) 509-7367
(800) 464-4357
(800) 543-8279
(800) 745-0037
(800) 445-8647
(800) 325-1245
(800) 272-9723
(800) 383-5992
(800) 693-5343
(800) 256-2494
(800) 232-0842
(800) 723-6695
(800) 723-6642
(800) 798-9050
(800) 626-7739
(800) 546-0483
(888) 723-6610
(907) 465-3090
(303) 692-3090
(202) 535-2302
(850) 245-4288
(404) 872-3549
(808) 586-4700
(502) 564-4856
(225) 925-7042
(207) 287-5676
(601) 987-6893
(573) 751-6160
(406) 444-6768
(775) 687-7531
(800) 852-3345 X4674 (603) 271-4674
(800) 648-0394
(800) 252-6325
(800) 523-4439
(800) 237-2366
(800) 768-0362
(800) 438-3367
(800) 572-5548
(800) 439-8550
(800) 468-0138
(800) 922-1255
(888) 569-7236
(800) 458-5847
(609) 984-5425
(505) 476-8531
(701) 328-5188
(614) 644-2727
(405) 702-5100
(717) 783-3594
(787) 767-3563
(803) 898-3893
(802) 865-7730
(804) 786-5932
(360) 236-3253
(304) 558-3427
(608) 267-4796
(307) 777-6015
EPA Radon Web site
EPA's main radon home page. Includes
links to publications, hotlines, private
proficiency programs and more.

EPA Regional Offices
Check this Web site for a listing of your EPA
regional office.

EPA Publications
Most EPA radon  publications are available
online at http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs.

                                           1-800-SOS-RADON (767-7236)
                                           Operated by Kansas State University in
                                           partnership with EPA. Order radon test kits
                                           by phone.

                                           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.
                                           Hotline numbers are subject to change, for up-to-
                                           date information call 1-800-438-4318.
                                                          www.epa.gov/radon    17

"Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer
in the United States and breathing it over prolonged
periods can present a significant health risk to families
all over the country. It's important to know that this
threat is completly preventable. Radon can be detected
with a simple test and fixed through well-established
venting techniques." January 2005