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Old 03-04-2009, 09:27 PM
 
1,330 posts, read 217,091 times
Reputation: 202
Default The radon business is a scam.

I just got a contract on my house. Buyer had a home inspection done. Insprector owns a radon mitigation business on the side. Radon test comes up positive (above 4 pc/cl) I'm told I need to get it fixed. Buyer's realtor who recommended inspector says she trusts him fully to do treatment.

I say no way. I will not reward someone who benefits by finding a problem. That's why I never let the termite company that found the "problem" to be the one that fixes it.

So I haven't decided what to do, so in the meantime I did some reading. And after about six hours, I came to the inescapable realization that RESIDENTIAL RADON DANGER IS A HOAX.

It's put out by the same folks who are selling us man-made global warming; WHO, the EPA, the NIH, all of whose best interests it serves to create crises so they can get money to keep "studying" the problem.

Here are some nagging hitches I am finding:

EPA's magical 4 picocuries/cubic liter threshold is arbitrary. There have never been tests of the effects of varying amounts of radon in a home setting. The only tests come from mine shafts in Pennsylvania where miners developed cancers, and where radon was among 25 or so radioactive elements present The results pf these findings were extrapolated to homes. In other words, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A SINGLE VERIFIABLE CASE WHERE RADON IN A HOME WAS LINKED TO AN OCCURRENCE OF CANCER. Even the EPA has admitted it.

From a 1994 EPA report: "Facts Concerning Environmental Radon"
"To date the EPA has had little success in stimulating home owners to measure levels in their homes which would be the first step in the process of deciding on a course of action if a high radon level is found. This is partly because it is difficult to get people concerned that their home, a place that one looks to for security, is a potential source of hidden danger. Also, it has not yet been possible to generate convincing data on increased risk at or below 4-8 pCi/liter"

What? No evidence of increased risk in the 4-8 range? Yet the EPA recommends action on any reading above 4? And all the radon companies are making $800 to $2000 setting up bogus vent systems for this number pulled out of thin air? And all the realtors, like sheep, fall into line?

Finally, two most widespread claims about radon all come from one source, the EPA:

1) Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer
2) 21,000 people die of lung cancer each year due to radon.

The rub here is that these two statements, long considered gospel, FAIL TO SEPARATE SMOKERS VS. NONSMOKERS. Furthermore, the numbers used are on the HIGH END of the actual findings which said 3,000 to 32,000. Ergo, it is IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE EITHER CLAIM ABOVE without pulling numbers out of thin air.

ERGO, THERE IS NO WAY TO TELL WHETHER RADON OR SMOKING CAUSED CANCER IN THE ABOVE CASES.

Below is the sole source for these two claims which have been repeated thousands of times, so much, in fact, that they are considered gospel. It is from the public summary of the EPA report, "Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation".

Note: "EVER-SMOKERS' is defined as ANYONE WHO IS SMOKING OR HAS EVER SMOKED.
"The BEIR VI committee's preferred central estimates... are that about 1 in 10 or 1 in 7 of all lung cancer deaths-amounting to ... about 15,400 to 21,800 per year in the United States- can be attributed to radon among ever-smokers and never-smokers together."
"The number of radon-related lung cancer deaths resulting from (our analysis) could be as low as 3000 or as high as 32,000. Most of the radon-related lung cancers occur among ever-smokers, and because of the synergism between smoking and radon, many of the cancers in ever-smokers could be prevented by either tobacco control or reduction of radon exposure."

So...."15,400 to 21,800 per year in the United States- can be attributed to radon among ever-smokers and never-smokers together".....So how in the HELL can they arrive at the claim that "21,000 people die in America from radon each year? It's a bogus lie.
And from that lie sprang the industry of radon mitigation for residential homes that we are all paying for.

When you think about it, anybody with an IQ over 75 would question the idea of paying a thousand bucks to "cure" a problem you can't see or smell; a problem nobody has ever noticed or observed negative results from; a problem that apparently didn't even exist until 1984.

But this information doesn't help me on my house sale. The buyer believes there's a serious threat. The realtor believes it. If I show them this stuff, they won't believe it. I'm probably stuck paying for a mirage.

Last edited by Eeeee22895; 03-04-2009 at 10:15 PM..
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Southwest Pa
1,009 posts, read 2,167,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeeee22895 View Post
The buyer believes there's a serious threat. The realtor believes it. If I show them this stuff, they won't believe it. I'm probably stuck paying for a mirage.[/LEFT]
The end choice is yours of course as to what path to take. But here's an idea we've used in the past when this issue has come up.

If you agree, be sure to agree that you'll have it done before closing with proper documentation of course. You'll also be using someone other than the company that found the problem. NEVER agree to just say the amount can be kicked back to the buyer to have it done after closing. You'll find the buyer does nothing and simply enjoys the savings.

If they agree then assume they're sincere. If they hedge, assume they don't care and just wanted a reduction.

Now, if you have it done and the deal dies for another reason then you're out the cost. But you'll be able to say mitigation is in place to the next buyer.
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Old 03-05-2009, 12:08 AM
 
957 posts, read 231,178 times
Reputation: 195
But if it's a scam, the problem is "fixed", and the deal falls through, won't the next inspection find the same "problem"?

How about the seller assumes the buyer knows it's a scam, but wants something anyway (because they now have leverage), and just give them something extra, but not the full amount? The way I see it, these niggling things are always just part of the negotiation on the price.

Today I had to pay $60 to find out that the check-engine light on my car is supposedly because I didn't tighten the gas cap enough. Second time that's happened--the light stays on until I pay the $60, and the state won't give me new tabs until I get the light turned off. Scams are all over; they're just part of life unfortunately.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:53 AM
 
28,597 posts, read 24,528,524 times
Reputation: 15940
maybe radon is an issue health wise, maybe its not but as a buyer of a home i wont buy one above 4.... our home we bought was above 4 so the seller put a system in for 800 bucks, the levels are around .7 and i bought it....

when things pertaining to my families health are debatable id rather err on the side of caution. especially if i have a choice
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Old 03-05-2009, 04:09 AM
 
3,385 posts, read 7,748,578 times
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I do not care what you "call" it but I have radon tested every house we own and my most recent one did have high radon and I made installing the vent system a requirement of selling a home. Your seller can walk if you don't want to fix it.

Now that you know you are probably legally obligated to disclose that your house has been tested and found to have elevated Radon. Depending on the contract verbiage you may be legally obligated to fix the problem [ie in my state some repairs are not "negotiated" but required to be done per the state]

There are more studies than you pointed to.

Health Risks | Radon | Indoor Air Quality | Air | US EPA
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,381 posts, read 3,544,778 times
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I don't know if radon is a scam or not. I do know that there are enough people that have concerns that as a Realtor I need to disclose that the issue exists. I can't risk that a home has a high radon level and the purchaser isn't advised that they should test prior to purchase.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,646 posts, read 2,596,047 times
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Very interesting thoughts, thanks for posting. Maine recommends mitigation at 2.0 pCi/l, which has stirred quite a debate when the test falls between 2.0 and 4.0.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:34 AM
 
1,330 posts, read 217,091 times
Reputation: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
maybe radon is an issue health wise, maybe its not but as a buyer of a home i wont buy one above 4.... our home we bought was above 4 so the seller put a system in for 800 bucks, the levels are around .7 and i bought it....

when things pertaining to my families health are debatable id rather err on the side of caution. especially if i have a choice
This is exactly the mentality that is going to cause the American taxpayers are going to pay $1 trillion dollars for carbon emissions in response to the unproven but heavily pushed theory of manmade global warming. The radon scare is coming from the same government health sources who have a financial interest in promoting the latest scare du jour.

Having said that, I admit it's hard to buck it when you're bombarded with the same message and your family's health is at issue.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:41 AM
 
1,330 posts, read 217,091 times
Reputation: 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLBob View Post
I don't know if radon is a scam or not. I do know that there are enough people that have concerns that as a Realtor I need to disclose that the issue exists. I can't risk that a home has a high radon level and the purchaser isn't advised that they should test prior to purchase.
Oh, I know. Reality is irrelevant when law is based on something uproven. You have to go with it. I'm in the same boat. I'm going to pay big money for something I strongly believe is a fantasy.

Whenever there is a big pile of money where money can be taken at closing "painlessly" and passively, because nobody is actively writing a check, then you're going to have all kinds of hands trying to take a piece of that pile. Our state recently proposed raising the grantor's tax on home sales because "it would be less noticeable" coming out of closing proceeds.

First there were the termite companies. The the radon mitigators. Now mold mitigators. There's my favorite from the mortgage companies; $75 for "flood risk assessment". What's going to be the next siphon? Some ridiculous carbon footprint assessment?
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:53 AM
 
2 posts, read 23,872 times
Reputation: 17
Ask the victims and families at CanSAR | Cancer Survivors Against Radon if they think that radon is a hoax.
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