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Old 12-05-2022, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Near Falls Lake
4,254 posts, read 3,173,683 times
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Over the last 30 years I have done thousands of radon tests using very sophisticated equipment.....radon levels will vary hourly, daily, weekly, etc. Weather changes....so will the radon levels! Most tests are relatively short-term and in reality....not really all that accurate. I would suggest checking out the EPA chart where they explain your chances of getting lung cancer at a given level of radon. In small print under the chart it says that the chart is for an exposure 365 days a year over a lifetime! Nobody actually gets exposed at that level. Yes, really high levels of radon can by quite problematic but at levels at and around the "action level" you have a better chance of getting hit by a car while sitting in your living room.
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Old 12-06-2022, 12:23 PM
 
984 posts, read 442,017 times
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What part of the country are you in? If I got a 3.8 reading, I'd get it fixed. A radon remediation system is a few thousand dollars... well worth the cost to avoid lung cancer later.
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Old 12-07-2022, 01:23 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,253 posts, read 5,126,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonMB View Post
What part of the country are you in? If I got a 3.8 reading, I'd get it fixed. A radon remediation system is a few thousand dollars... well worth the cost to avoid lung cancer later.
In round numbers-- 10% of Americans smoke, and 10% of smokers get lung cancer, ie- 1% of Americans...among that 1%, 10% are non-smokers, ie- 0.1% (1 in 1000) of Americans who don't smoke get lung cancer....How many of those spend a significant amount of time in their radon polluted basements? Let's say 1 in 100-->

A waste of a few $1000 x 1000 ($1M) x 100 ($100M) to "save" one case of lung ca (maybe).
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Old 12-07-2022, 05:34 PM
 
984 posts, read 442,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
In round numbers-- 10% of Americans smoke, and 10% of smokers get lung cancer, ie- 1% of Americans...among that 1%, 10% are non-smokers, ie- 0.1% (1 in 1000) of Americans who don't smoke get lung cancer....How many of those spend a significant amount of time in their radon polluted basements? Let's say 1 in 100-->

A waste of a few $1000 x 1000 ($1M) x 100 ($100M) to "save" one case of lung ca (maybe).
Well, it's 10-20% of people with lung cancer who are nonsmokers. So up to one in 5. Radon exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. One in 15 Americans live in homes with dangerous radon levels.

About 1 in 15 people get lung cancer and roughly half die each year.

So if 1 in 15 get lung cancer, let's call our population 300 million for ease. That means about 20 million will acquire lung cancer over their lifetimes, assuming rates don't go up or down. Using the middle figure of 15% of lung cancer victims being nonsmokers, that's about three million. There's certainly some overlap in the 20 million people with lung cancer and the people who smoke AND have radon in their homes, but when you use the actual numbers and not made up "round numbers," it looks a little more dire.

I don't care what anyone does. If you want to live in a house full of radon rather than spend $2,000 fixing the problem, go for it. In the long run, though a couple thousand isn't much. It will also pay off if you decide to sell the house later; if you live in a radon-heavy area, having a radon mitigation system will be reassuring to buyers.
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Old 12-07-2022, 05:51 PM
 
7,235 posts, read 4,546,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanyBelle
Many year ago I was selling a townhouse in suburban Philadelphia. I was required to do a radon test. The first result came back high they said the reason was because I put the testing thing too close to a ceramic lamp I had. Could you be getting a high reading due to something like this?
I ended up retesting. The first test I put directly on the granite and under cabinets.

The second test I put in the middle of my kitchen but not on the countertops.

The second test came back at 2.7.

Over all I have done about 5 tests in my home and the average is about 3.
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Old 12-08-2022, 04:32 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
7,253 posts, read 5,126,001 times
Reputation: 17747
Quote:
Originally Posted by SharonMB View Post
Well, it's 10-20% of people with lung cancer who are nonsmokers. So up to one in 5.....
Even if we accept your erroneous figure of 20% of lung cancer in non-smokers, it still costs $2-3000 to remedy a radon basement, so the cost is still $100-150 M to avoid one case...IF we think radon is really the culprit.. and there's not proof of that.

It's a boondoggle....As I said earlier-- if you got Radon you got Uranium and its gamma radiation.You can't ventilate away gamma radiation..AND you have 500x more natural radiation in the Potassium in you body than in a cubic meteer of granite (the source of radiation in your basement).
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Old 12-08-2022, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Sector 001
15,945 posts, read 12,282,765 times
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I had a level of 24 pCi/L in the basement of the home I used to own. Levels in eastern South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin can get quite high. It's not pseudoscience. Lots of people get lung cancer despite being non-smokers, and much of it is due to the enjoyment of finishing basements that is popular in much of the country.

A side effect of mitigation is it removes some of the musty basement smell. A negative effect is if you need to get into the sump pit for any reason it's a real PITA. Living in a second floor apartment much of my life, my exposure has been near zero.

I don't always trust science, but in this case, they have a valid point in that radon will affect lung tissue over time in high concentrations. Our bodies didn't evolve and adapt in a closed air underground environment where levels of this gas can build up.

I wouldn't worry about 4 pCI/l. See the chart on EPA's website. If you have a finished basement and you plan to live in the home for 10+ years, maybe do something about it if you start to get into the 6+ range. A lifetime constant exposure of 4 pCI/l would result in a 6% chance of getting lung cancer but most people don't breath their home air all day, every day.

https://www.epa.gov/radon/health-risk-radon

https://www.mskcc.org/news/5-myths-about-radon-and-lung

If your basement has 5-15 pCI/l and you decide to just live in it for years and years without doing anything about it, it's like being a smoker basically. If it had something like 20-50+ pCI/l, a heavy smoker.... 1-3 packs per day.

Last edited by sholomar; 12-08-2022 at 09:15 AM..
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