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Old 07-22-2007, 09:55 PM
 
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How reliably do the radon mitigation systems work? Is it a pretty cut and dried deal or can it be a big ordeal to actually bring the levels down?
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:00 PM
Status: "October is the eighth month" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,677 posts, read 28,491,129 times
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My first house tested 12/ pcl - seller installed a mitigation system - retested one day after installation 2/ pcl.

10 years later when I sold that house the buyers tested at 2 /pcl
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Larkspur, Colorado
226 posts, read 1,247,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
How reliably do the radon mitigation systems work? Is it a pretty cut and dried deal or can it be a big ordeal to actually bring the levels down?
I have never had a house fail the retest after the seller performed mitigation. The system is fairly straight forward.


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Old 08-14-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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I have a friend who is a pathologist and he says that he does not believe that radon is really the problem it is made out to be. He says the studies where people developed problems were done on uranium miners (very high levels of radon) and the only ones who had lung problems were also smokers. Sounds like you are getting the mitigation paid for anyway, and it is probably a good idea for resale, but it may not really be that big of a health issue.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Larkspur, Colorado
226 posts, read 1,247,107 times
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Originally Posted by azuree View Post
I have a friend who is a pathologist and he says that he does not believe that radon is really the problem it is made out to be. He says the studies where people developed problems were done on uranium miners (very high levels of radon) and the only ones who had lung problems were also smokers. Sounds like you are getting the mitigation paid for anyway, and it is probably a good idea for resale, but it may not really be that big of a health issue.
The US EPA maximum safe level of 4.0 pc/l is much lower than most other countries. Most other countries have a maximum safe level in the teens and twenties. I have never had a house test higher than 16 and most "high" tests are between 4 and 8. I too feel the health risk is overrated, but from a resale sand point I highly recommended testing before buying a house. It is also an easy and fairly inexpensive fix just in case the EPA is right?
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,751,010 times
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Originally Posted by BenWolfe View Post
but from a resale sand point I highly recommended testing before buying a house. It is also an easy and fairly inexpensive fix just in case the EPA is right?
Yes, I think it is pretty cheap. No more than $1000. The norm is that the seller pays (ours did). What's one grand on a $500K deal?

Same argument for termites.
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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Default Over-rated Radon

Good info here.

I've been following the Radon concern issue for several years. It seems to be a growing "problem" in the real estate arena across the country.

It is like the mold "problem" of a decade ago. Sure, it's nice to be aware of the situation but mold and radon have been around alot longer than tract housing, and within reason it's hard to believe that total mitigation of either problem is going to extend the population's life span even minutely.

Better to quit smoking or buy a house above the blanket of smog.

However, It is a game that we've got to p(l)ay. And mitigation solutions don't seem to be all THAT involved or expensive and...hey, it creates jobs!
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:53 PM
 
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Default a little Radon info

Just thought I'd offer a little information about the health issues with Radon. I'm a Nuclear Engineer (an admittedly young one), and I've some hopefully insightful information.

The deal with Radon is 2 fold, and yes people who smoke are already experiencing levels likely higher than any you'd see in a basement, but it depends on the where the tobacco was grown. Radon is only found via a decay chain usually originating from Uranium (this is of course why most studies occurred from Uranium miners where Radon gas levels where high). Naturally occuring Uranium is found in various forms all over the earth, more prevalently in rocky areas. Thus, Radon gas from the decay chain of Uranium basically bubble up from rocky areas which makes Radon more of a concern in places like Colorado such that homes built there will find a build up of Radon in their basements if ventilation is insufficient.

The health concerns with Radon are 2-fold. First, it's radioactive. It's mode of decay, alpha emission, is not an issue unless the Radon decays in the body. If you're inhaling the gas, it can decay in your body. Is this a real concern? Yes and no. 2 isotopes are relatively common, one with long time to decay, and other with a short. If it does, it can produce a fair amount of cell damage because an alpha particle is large (think bowling balls hitting golf balls).

The second health concern is that once the gas decays, it becomes a heavy particulate, Polonium, and doesn't leave the body by exhaling (no longer gas). It then shortly decays again to Lead. So to drive the point home, inhaling a certain concentration of Radon is comparable to inhaling a lesser concentration of Lead. You wouldn't use lead paint, right?

So with that information, you're the more able to formulate your own opinion on the matter. Is it a real risk? It depends on the concentration. State statutes use certain values which hopefully they've researched at least some, and they are more than likely overly conservative. Moral of the story is make sure your house is well ventilated and if you're buying a new house, tell them to do it if the levels are higher than you're comfortable with. If you smoke, well let's just say this compares to getting a big mac with a diet soda.

**A note as it regards radiation - studies are inconclusive regarding the effects of low levels of radiation. Some believe that it may actually be good for you (some people actually go to old mines in CO where Radon is rich and hang out for a while). It's safer and widely accepted that low levels correlate to cell damage the same as high levels scaled down. Federal limits for radiation exposure to non-nuclear workers correspond to levels that are on par with the amount of background you recieve from things like TVs, microwaves, x-rays, cosmic rays, sunlight, etc.**
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Old 09-08-2007, 09:59 PM
 
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Default one more thing

The only reason the concern over Radon is increasing is because people know about it. The actually amount of Radon is not growing or increasing. For the time that humanity has and ever will exist, the levels produced from the ground will remain essentially the same for a particular area.
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:29 AM
 
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One thing that has changed over past 30-40 years is how we build homes, with the energy crisis in the 1970's homes were sealed up tighter and tighter thus trapping more radon in the home. Of course proper ventilation and make up air procedures can ease the problem but a lot of variables are involved.

Another aspect is increasing amount of time Americans spend in doors which is now about 65% of the time. This is a big change from our agricultural society of the past.
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