• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • paul wheaton
garden masters:
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Mike Barkley

Testing for Radon gas in your home

 
gardener
Posts: 2633
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
441
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi All;
I have heard about Radon gas for years now. Never really gave it much thought.
Recently I found out about a well known local woman. She went to the doctors about a pain that wasn't going away. After a scan of some type , they noticed spots on her lungs.
Yes , after further testing. It was lung cancer! (note, she did all the treatments and is now cancer free)
This lady has never smoked cigarettes , nor had any industrial exposure. Has been living in this remote area for 40 + years...
In her quest to learn more, she discovered that Radon gas is the second highest cause of lung cancer.
She discovered that test kits are easily available. She got one , tested and was horrified to find high readings in her home!
Turns out after more investigating, that our whole area is known (by some obscure county official who isn't telling anyone) to have spots of high Radon!!!  
I've been here 40+ years and this is the first I've heard of this...

Needless to say... we got our test kit in the mail yesterday!  $15 for the simple test kit.  More for a more comprehensive kit.
A tray of activated charcoal is placed in your home. (i haven't figured out where yet) Will take 48 hrs , then we bag it up and quickly mail it back to lab to be tested.
Then we wait for the results.  Apparently there are methods to make your home safe if there are high levels of radon.

We will start our test this weekend and will report back as soon as we hear back.
20200111_070041.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200111_070041.jpg]
Test kit
 
pollinator
Posts: 338
Location: North central Ontario
38
kids dog books chicken earthworks cooking solar wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Air exchange is the most important step. Areas with granite and basements are prime candidates for radon. Hrv s have been mandatory in my area for 15 years. At construction time a thick vapor barrier sealed to the foundation walls along with under slab ventilation is suggested...
Good first steps.
 
Posts: 108
Location: Virginia
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

thomas rubino wrote:Hi All;
I have heard about Radon gas for years now. Never really gave it much thought.
Recently I found out about a well known local woman. She went to the doctors about a pain that wasn't going away. After a scan of some type , they noticed spots on her lungs.
Yes , after further testing. It was lung cancer! (note, she did all the treatments and is now cancer free)
This lady has never smoked cigarettes , nor had any industrial exposure. Has been living in this remote area for 40 + years...
In her quest to learn more, she discovered that Radon gas is the second highest cause of lung cancer.
She discovered that test kits are easily available. She got one , tested and was horrified to find high readings in her home!
Turns out after more investigating, that our whole area is known (by some obscure county official who isn't telling anyone) to have spots of high Radon!!!  
I've been here 40+ years and this is the first I've heard of this...

Needless to say... we got our test kit in the mail yesterday!  $15 for the simple test kit.  More for a more comprehensive kit.
A tray of activated charcoal is placed in your home. (i haven't figured out where yet) Will take 48 hrs , then we bag it up and quickly mail it back to lab to be tested.
Then we wait for the results.  Apparently there are methods to make your home safe if there are high levels of radon.

We will start our test this weekend and will report back as soon as we hear back.



Our area is not in a mandatory radon testing zone. When we were buying our house (which has a basement), the owners said they never tested the home and the realtor laughed at the proposal. We did the test anyway as part of the pre-purchase inspection and found out that the radon levels were high! We installed an evacuation system (you can do it yourself or hire someone) - basically a large PVC pipe that goes into the ground in the basement and pulls the radon our via a pump attached on top of the system. Also, air circulation helps a lot, our basement has windows and you can bet they are often open.... I cringe to think that the people who sold us the house lived in it for 20 years breathing the gas when a cheap test could have informed them of the dangers.
 
master steward
Posts: 3231
Location: West Tennessee
1075
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think radon is something important that is sometimes an afterthought or unknown to home buyers and home owners. After my father died of cancer in 2011 (not lung cancer), my step mom sold the house. I didn't learn until just last year while chatting with my brother that the buyer of our fathers house had a radon test done as part of the contract. The test failed, coming back with high radon levels, and the buyer would buy the house if a vapor barrier and other radon prevention measures were installed, which my step mom agreed to do. I do not know how much it cost.

I just built a house, and I tried to think of everything before construction began, and fortunately I did think about radon. I installed a radon & moisture vapor barrier, all taped together and sealed on all four sides of the foundation walls before pouring the concrete pad for the basement. I felt like I had one chance to do it right from the beginning since I wouldn't be able to do it afterwards. One thing I haven't done, which this thread is inspiring me to do, is test my well water for radon. I have read that all ground water contains radon in some amount, from minuscule parts per billion levels to very high levels, and this radon can come out of suspension and pose a health risk from the humid & steamy water vapors while taking a shower.
 
Oddo Dassler
Posts: 108
Location: Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Freyr wrote:I think radon is something important that is sometimes an afterthought or unknown to home buyers and home owners. After my father died of cancer in 2011 (not lung cancer), my step mom sold the house. I didn't learn until just last year while chatting with my brother that the buyer of our fathers house had a radon test done as part of the contract. The test failed, coming back with high radon levels, and the buyer would buy the house if a vapor barrier and other radon prevention measures were installed, which my step mom agreed to do. I do not know how much it cost.

I just built a house, and I tried to think of everything before construction began, and fortunately I did think about radon. I installed a radon & moisture vapor barrier, all taped together and sealed on all four sides of the foundation walls before pouring the concrete pad for the basement. I felt like I had one chance to do it right from the beginning since I wouldn't be able to do it afterwards. One thing I haven't done, which this thread is inspiring me to do, is test my well water for radon. I have read that all ground water contains radon in some amount, from minuscule parts per billion levels to very high levels, and this radon can come out of suspension and pose a health risk from the humid & steamy water vapors while taking a shower.



I was under the impression that getting cancer from radon in water is highly unlikely.
 
James Freyr
master steward
Posts: 3231
Location: West Tennessee
1075
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Oddo Dassler wrote:

I was under the impression that getting cancer from radon in water is highly unlikely.



I'm no expert on the subject by any means. It's my understanding that the risk is when the radon comes out of suspension in well water and the radon gas is then inhaled. Radon can be removed from well water, and it's done by spraying the water (like a shower head) into a collection tank, and this collected water is then pumped throughout a house.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1278
Location: Victoria BC
151
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Freyr wrote:

Oddo Dassler wrote:

I was under the impression that getting cancer from radon in water is highly unlikely.



I'm no expert on the subject by any means. It's my understanding that the risk is when the radon comes out of suspension in well water and the radon gas is then inhaled. Radon can be removed from well water, and it's done by spraying the water (like a shower head) into a collection tank, and this collected water is then pumped throughout a house.



Huh. I was aware of radon risk, but not from water. I suppose one would be able to use the standard test with some fiddling..
 
thomas rubino
gardener
Posts: 2633
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
441
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The same company I used ,also test's water for Radon.
 
thomas rubino
gardener
Posts: 2633
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
441
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We got our results!   All is good! No lung cancer caused by radon in this old cabin!
The result of your test AE839271 was 1.6 pCi/L

Here's what they had to say.
The EPA Action Level is any result greater than 4 pCi/L. The U.S. indoor average is 1.3 pCi/L, and the outdoor average is 0.3 pCi/L. If your result is greater than 4 pCi/L, take action to reduce the radon level. This may include re-testing. Visit the EPA's radon website at http://epa.gov/radon to determine the necessary steps. If you are above the national average, retest every 2-3 years to confirm the Radon levels are not rising.
 
Barry's not gonna like this. Barry's not gonna like this one bit. What is Barry's deal with tiny ads?
Rocket mass heaters in greenhouses can be tricky - these plans make them easy: Wet Tolerant Rocket Mass Heater in a Greenhouse Plans
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!