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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
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    48

    Default New Indoor Radon Threshold

    I just received an e-mail from a Real Estate Agent that the following:

    NEWS RELEASE The World Health Organization announced that they have established a new limit for indoor radon gas levels. The previously accepted "action level" was 4.0. The new maximum radon level is 2.7. Based on this new threshold, millions of U.S. homes will require repairs to reduce the levels of the gas. Each year, approximately 20,000 Americans die from exposure to radon (more than any other in-home risk including fires, carbon monoxide, falls, drowning, poisonings, handguns, etc.) This new plan of action by the World Health Organization will save thousands of lives each year in the U.S. and potentially millioins of lives worldwide.


    Has anyone heard about this?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: New Indoor Radon Threshold

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: New Indoor Radon Threshold

    I would think that we still need to go by our EPA requirements, or if your state has a specific requirement. The US doe not always follow the WHO.

    At 2.7, I would say that about 50% of my tested homes would need a mitigation system. Hummm, might be time to start putting that mitigation company plan into to the works!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Shawn Price's Avatar
    Shawn Price Guest

    Default Re: New Indoor Radon Threshold

    The World Health Organization (WHO) does not set policy for the United States. Our policies are set by Congress, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and individual States.

    The WHO release echoes and reinforces the EPA position that there is NO SAFE level of radon. The EPA "Action Level" of 4.0 pCi/L is not a medical threshold, but is more of a technologically-based number. However, reduction to well below 4.0 is most desirable although costs may increase dramatically the farther below 4.0 one goes. A property seller and their agent sees 3.9 pCi/L as the goal, whereas the buyer may hope to have radon concentrations much lower.

    Having said that, radon prevention during construction, WHEN DONE PROPERLY, can keep radon levels well below 4.0 pCi/L much easier and much more cost effectively than in preexisting homes. In my opinion, until the building industry is held accountable for allowing unnecessary exposure to radioactive material (radon), things are not likely to change anytime soon, even in areas where building codes require radon-resistant construction techniques. Adopting the WHO threshold for new buildings may be a necessary step to get them to begin to take radon more seriously.

    Shawn Price

    The Radon Information Center
    Radon-Pro.Com


  5. #5
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
    Daniel Leung Guest

    Default Re: New Indoor Radon Threshold

    Please read what WHO said on the front page of their web:
    Radon and cancer
    12 October 2009 -- Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer in many countries. Studies in Europe, North America and China have confirmed that lower concentrations of radon such as those found in homes also confer health risks and contribute substantially to the occurrence of lung cancers worldwide.
    Read the updated fact sheet on radon and cancer
    Read more on environment and health
    also, please read the 110 pages WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: New Indoor Radon Threshold

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Leung View Post
    Please read what WHO said on the front page of their web:
    Radon and cancer
    12 October 2009 -- Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer in many countries. Studies in Europe, North America and China have confirmed that lower concentrations of radon such as those found in homes also confer health risks and contribute substantially to the occurrence of lung cancers worldwide.
    Read the updated fact sheet on radon and cancer
    Read more on environment and health
    also, please read the 110 pages WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon.
    This is not anything new. Again, the United States as I belive Canada does not follow the WHO.

    Nobody is disagreeing that folks die from radon.

    How much more likely is a person to get cancer in a home that is at 4.0 vs a home that is at 2.7? Nobody knows and nobody can provide that information. Everyone react differently to exposure to radon.

    Another thought is that all of the countries that wanted the level lowered all have socialized medical coverage for their citizens. Lower action levels in theory will also lower medical cost.

    Untill the United States EPA lowers their action level to 2.7, we just can't do much about it.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Terry Wilson's Avatar
    Terry Wilson Guest

    Default Re: New Indoor Radon Threshold

    I contacted my supplier at EMSL who in-turn put me in contact with their Radon lab person when I first became aware of this last month. See response from the lab below. The lab also informed me that any changes to the EPA standards would be forwarded to any clients so that we can be prepared.

    Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 3:58 PM
    Subject: RE: EPA radon levels

    "Yes, it was just mentioned at the National Radon Conference last week; I did not go, but there was a press release sent out about it. Basically the World Health Organization (WHO) was considering lowering the limit to 2.7pCi/L, but so far no "official" anouncement has been made saying EPA was going to adopt that limit. That's about all I've heard on it."

    Garrett A. Ray
    Radiological Laboratory Manager/Safety Manager
    EMSL Analytical, Inc.
    800-220-3675 X1263



  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: New Indoor Radon Threshold

    Why anyone would expect this country to follow some other country's or organization's lead in the protection of its citizens is beyond me. That is why we rank well behind almost every industrialized Western nation in nearly every aspect of civilized behavior, not the least of which is thinking.


  9. #9
    Lawrence Transue's Avatar
    Lawrence Transue Guest

    Default Re: New Indoor Radon Threshold

    If this is adopted by the EPA, the cost of mitigation may rise also.

    It is easier to mitigate a home to get it under 4.0 Pc/L than to get it under 2.7 Pc/L especially older homes.


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