Originally Posted by cpherzog
We live in the Port Jefferson area, in Suffolk County. Our electronic radon meter is now registering 4.3. (Before we had some vents closed around the perimeter of the basement, it was registering 2.4, both on the meter and in the lab results from some place in Florida.)
Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that comes from the decay of naturally occurring radium in rock. It can be detected only through the use of proper monitoring equipment. The radon concentration in a home is dependent on the type of soil upon which the home is built. Cracks in the building foundation provide the pathway for radon to enter a home. Important factors that affect how much radon will be found throughout a house include the amount of ventilation and airflow patterns.
Radon concentration in air is measured in units of picoCuries per liter. When testing indicates that the radon level in the lowest primary living area of the home is 4 picoCuries per liter or higher, the State Health Department recommends that the homeowner take corrective action to reduce these levels.
The State Health Department collects data on household radon levels (Radon | New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center
). Since 1986, maps have been prepared for every county that estimate the percent of homes with 4 picoCuries per liter or higher based on more than 45,000 basement screening measurements and more than 11,000 long-term living area measurements. As part of that data set, the State Health Department has radon measurements for 58 homes in the Town of Brookhaven, including the CMP area. Our researchers did not separate out the data for the CMP area from the remainder of the Town of Brookhaven. They evaluated these data for estimating radon exposure in the CMP area and determined that these data were adequate.
Likelihood of Exceeding Radon Action Level
In Living Area In Basement
Town of Brookhaven 0.7% 5%
Suffolk County 1% 6%
New York State 5% 18%
Based on these data, our researchers evaluated the likelihood that homes in Brookhaven would exceed the radon action level compared to Suffolk County and New York State. The results show that the Town of Brookhaven has a lower percentage of measurements exceeding the action level in the living area and basement than the comparison areas. As a result, radon was not considered a significant environmental exposure in the CMP area and was not further evaluated. Because radon levels can vary from home to home, the State Health Department still recommends that individual homeowners test home radon levels in every community in New York State regardless of local trend data.
Not all the homes in the Town of Brookhaven have had radon tests.
Data evaluated reflects testing results only for 1986-1999 and not from other time periods.