Radon in Washington DC Homes: Why it matters to DC homeowners and home buyers
Not familiar with Radon and its effects? What every Washington DC home owner and buyer should know:
Radon has been found in elevated levels in every state in the U.S. According to EPA statistics, one in every 15 homes has elevated radon levels.
Radon gas starts out in the soil and enters through cracks in the foundation or walls, openings around floor drains, pipes and sump pumps. Once trapped in the home, it can build up and create a health hazard.
Radon can infiltrate from soil in any location around or under a home, even if it doesn't have a basement, crawl space, or is built on a slab. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend radon testing for all types of homes at or below the third floor.
Effects of Radon on Washington DC Residents
You may be surprised to learn that Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. (smoking is the first). When Radon is inhaled, it undergoes radioactive decay, releasing "alpha particles" that damage lung tissue.
Remedies for Washington DC Radon Gas Infiltration
A home inspector can test for Radon during a standard home inspection. There is an additional cost, and the inspection will be a two part appointment rather than a single appointment.
Washington DC homeowners can test for Radon themselves, by ordering a free Radon test kit from the DDOE. Testing involves placing a radon detector in a designated area, making sure the environment is not disturbed (airing out) for the perscribed number of days, then sealing the detector back in the package.
If it is determined that there is Radon build up in an area of the home, use recommended mitigation methods.
Watch this short Video on Radon by DDOE and get a free Radon Test Kit:
District residents can obtain a free radon test kit by calling the radon hotline at 202-535-2302