I don't think the majority of the literature out there agrees with your position that a reading of 5 absolutely requires remediation. Note, that the author stated the basement is not liveable space
. That is a key factor.
See the following info from the website below. The author of that website is a professional home inspector
. A simple search on Radon will find many sites with similar info and conclusions. As I said in my original post, everyone has to look at all the factors and determine what their personal risk level is.
BTW, I have radon remediation in my own home so I'm not anti-remediation or against builders/contractors selling radon remediation. However, we spend lots of time in our finished basement and the test levels prior to remediation were approx 15. The key is understanding the factors and making a reasoned assessment. You might want to read people's posts and do a bit more research next time before stating someone is absolutely wrong IMHO.
Article Understanding Radon
9. WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THE LEVELS OF RADON IN MY HOME?
The following represents our opinion, based on our understanding of the radon issue from several sources.
A... If the house tests above 20 pCi/L most experts agree it is prudent to install a system that can permanently reduce your families exposure to radon.
B... If the house tests below 4 pCi/L most experts agree that there is a relatively low probability of significant health risk at this low level of exposure. However, we recommend retesting the radon levels once you move in, to verify this low reading. Industry surveys show that up to 30% of the radon tests in real estate transactions are subject to some ventilation. LET THE BUYER BEWARE. We once tested a house, that measured 168 pCi/L in a child's bedroom. The selling agent ordered a retest by a tester known to test on the second floor with the windows open. He told my clients the house only measured 3.5 pCi/L and they didn't have a radon problem. Although he never gave my clients a written report stating this.
C... If the house tests between 4 and 20 pCi/L there is no need for immediate panic
, but you will have to make some difficult decisions. About 50% of the houses we test fall in this gray area. The average Colorado home measures 5.9 pCi/L. The national average is 1.5 pCi/L and outside air measures about 0.35 pCi/L. The closer to 4 or 20 pCi/L the easier the decision should be. The most difficult decisions are in the 10 to 12 pCi/L range.
10. WHAT OTHER FACTORS SHOULD I LOOK AT IN DECIDING WHETHER TO MITIGATE OR NOT?
Cigarette smokers should keep their exposure to radon as low as possible. Smokers have eight times the risk from radon as non smokers. Smokers who reduce their radon exposure from 6 pCi/L to 2 pCi/L, will receive as much beneficial risk reduction as the non smoker who reduces their exposure from 34 pCi/L to 2 pCi/L.
If the house was tested in an infrequently used basement. It may have measured a radon level that is two to three times the actual level you are exposed to, spending most of your time upstairs.
You can reduce your families annual radon exposure about 40%, if you open the basement windows a few inches to allow cross ventilation from May till September. This may be appropriate for slightly elevated houses that don't need year round reductions.
People with young children should be more concerned with the possible consequences of radon exposure
20 years from now than someone in their late sixties or seventies.
Families with a hereditary predisposition of cancer should be more concerned about radon exposure than families who don't have any history of cancer.
If you work for a company that might transfer you in the future, our employer probably will hire a relocation company to purchase your home. Today, most relocation companies insist that the house test below 4 pCi/L before they will buy it. Some buyers have adopted this position; anything below 4 pCi/L is fine while anything above 4 pCi/L is unacceptable. This unfortunate misinterpretation of EPA guidance, could cause you to pay for a radon mitigation system when selling your home. At this time your family would not receive any benefit from the radon reductions.
The decision, What to do about radon? is a personal choice that only you can make.
Some people feel it is best to reduce as many of life's risks as they can. Other people feel the money spent installing and operating a radon mitigation system on a moderately elevated home could be put to better use, having regular family medical and dental check ups, or making other safety improvements in their home.