“I know radon kills people,” Pam says. “So we had the house tested when we bought it. But radon levels can change over the years, and it was time to do it again.”
Since Pam Mayer works at the Eastern Regional Radon Training Center at Rutgers University, she knows that radon is the number two cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to smoking. The EPA estimates that 20,000 people per year will die from lung cancer caused by radon.
“My daughter just turned fifteen,” Pam says. “We wanted to create a place for her and her friends to spend time together. But we didn’t want any children to be in danger.”
Over the years, Pam has made some changes to her home. She knows that new windows, new appliances, or any structural improvement might affect airflow and therefore radon levels. In her case, a new air conditioning system was installed as well as other improvements.
“I had access to certain test equipment,” Pam says. “But I would have done it anyway. It’s easy to do.”
Pam used a device called the Radon Eye ($145 on Amazon.com) that she borrowed from a co-worker—but there are many other less-expensive options available. A simple Google search for “Radon Test Kits” will show a wide range of kits available for under $30. Many of them have excellent reviews.
If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always hire a professional radon measurement company. You can find a list of radon certificated professionals in your area by checking this page at the National Radon Proficiency Program or this page at the Nation Radon Safety Board website.
Pam’s house showed a level of 1.3 picocuries per liter, well under the EPA recommendation of 4.0.
“I’m glad we got it done, “ Pam says. “The kids are safe and everybody’s happy. Everyone should test their house so they can rest easy.”