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annigood 10-27-2012 09:52 PM

No standards for RADON mitigation installation
I live in Southern Wisconsin and have searched everywhere to find some legal standards for RADON mitigation installers.
I found out that the installers can, (not required) take some course and a test to get on a list for installers who have passed this test. Its a one time test and the person who takes the test can, if he wants to, hide behind the test for commercial purposes and hire ANYBODY he wants to actually install the system.
The Wisconsin government agencies actually told me that my only really recourse is to get references. Yeh-right. I get to talk to the contractors two best friends and his mother or maybe even real customers. How do I really know?
My basement levels are about 16. I want them under 2. I dont want to spend two or three thousand dollars and then find that my levels are still high. I know that I wouldn't get my money back and it would take me years to save this money again. What do I do? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
My oldest friend just lost her husband do to lung cancer and the doctor said he got it from RADON. That is why I tested and was shocked at the results. I could use some help finding a reliable contractor and I dont know where to start.

gregzoll 10-27-2012 10:15 PM

The standard is do not waste your money on it. Radon mitigation is the biggest scam out there. Way too over hyped. Also there is no way anyone can prove a person received Lung Cancer from Radon, unless they have viable proof. That means that the person worked in the Uranium industry, worked in granite quarries, or lived in a cave that had both.

Flyers28 10-28-2012 07:55 AM

He is right. Radon is the biggest scam. Don't always believe what you hear or read.

beenthere 10-28-2012 08:07 AM

If he got lung cancer from radon. He was exposed to it for many many years, or a really really high concentration. And she should also have lung cancer by now. Unless he worked in a mine.

If you used one of those 2 days test. You should do that test every 90 days for a year, and average it out. Since radon levels can vary on a daily basis.

Daniel Holzman 10-28-2012 09:13 AM

The topic of radon danger and mitigation has been discussed repeatedly on this forum, do a search and you will find numerous threads. The opinions as to the danger of radon range from "ignore it" to "we are all going to die". The actual statistical danger of radon is based on examination of cancer rates in uranium miners, and is very difficult to correlate with the danger from residential radon.

One thing that is clear from the evidence is that radon and smoking are synergistic, i.e. if you smoke you are at substantially higher danger from radon exposure than if you do not smoke. Another fact that is undisuputed is that radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, derived from the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium in rock (granite often has high concentrations of uranium). The EPA may have been quicker to warn about radon than man made hazards because there is little likelihood that the EPA will be attacked by producers of radon, versus producers of man made hazards like asbestos, lead paint, fiberglass etc.

You should certainly start with the EPA website discussing radon hazards. Comments that radon hazards are exaggerated are common on this forum and other forums, however there is some evidence that radon is a naturally occurring carcinogen, so you should do your own reading and arrive at your own conclusions. As to remediation, there are well proven techniques for reducing radon concentrations in the basement and in your water supply if you are on a well. Any contractor performing radon mitigation should be prepared to warranty their work in the sense that they should guarantee a reduction of radon to a specified level, along with a full description of what they intend to do for you in the event the reduction fails to materialize.

annigood 11-13-2012 10:34 PM

Thank you for your responses.....but.....
Thank you for your responses, but I am not willing to take the chance that RADON is safe because my eight year old is in the basement, alot, and if the people who say its safe are wrong, he could die.
My girlfriend who's husband died of lung cancer lived in the house over thirty years. After they were married she lived there for about two years. She has moved since Dave died. His son, from another marrage wanted the house, so she gave it to him. He knows why his father died, but he wanted the house anyway.
Im still looking for a mitigation provider and I'm still not sure what to look for. Any ideas would be of great help.
Thank you..............anni

myfirstrodeo 11-14-2012 06:36 AM

Hi anni,

Gave you had your home tested for radon? It can be present in the air or water, and the type of mitigation system would depend on what was measured by each type of sample.

As another poster said, radon levels can vary from day to day, so you may want to have a few tests run over the course of the year before proceeding with mitigation.

Some states offer testing through the state's department of environmental protection, or you could have a private company perform the testing. I would suggest that you have your home tested by a third party who won't be recommending the mitigation.

As others have said, the radon issue hasn't been completely confirmed or dismissed, so if it is something that concerns you, it doesn't hurt to test (except a slight ding on you wallet).

An air mitigation system could cost you around 2,000 while water mitigation can run upwards of 5,000. As far as a regulating body, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has set an occupational limit, but your state's dept. of environmental protection would be the place to go for guidance on residential recommendations.

annigood 11-14-2012 01:03 PM

I hate to say, but our state (WI) is full of dorks!
I called the people in our state government who are supposed to know about RADON. They are pretty much clueless. I was shocked. If you live in WI you are 'on your own' when it comes to any RADON info. That is why I went to this site. It seems that many of the people who post here have great opinions and alot of common sense.
Many even have very usefull facts that they share.
I have called a mitigator. They are comming here on Friday, Nov 16th.
I dont understand how the fan can keep pulling the air and radon out of the basement without creating negative air pressures, but they said that they will explain how it works before I make the final decision to install the unit.
I just hope that I'm not wasting $1000, but I gotta have the basement safe for the children. Just gotta!

COLDIRON 11-14-2012 04:59 PM

In Daniels reply he mentioned the EPA website which I would also recommend.
If you dig further the EPA might have a list of all qualified Radon Remediation Contractor's in your state.
Keep checking I am sure you can find one, you might even find the school or the testing agency which should have the list of all certified remediation Contractor's.

jagans 11-14-2012 05:48 PM

Hi Annie,

I had to install mitigation systems on two homes that I sold in Maryland. For one thing you can write to the govt and they will send you a very comprehensive brochure regarding Radon and how to install a system in your home. You should be aware that the protocol for testing radon has nothing to do with the amount of radon you are likely to ingest over your lifetime. I suggest that you get the facts before throwing away your hard earned money to protect you against nothing, unless you are selling your home and are forced to do it like I was. Make sure you aren't reading the BS propagated by mitigation companies, because that's what it is. They compare it to smoking cigarettes. When is the last time you stuck your head in your sump pump well to breathe?

Daniel Holzman 11-14-2012 06:36 PM

Standard mitigation practice for airborne radon is to install a small fan in a sump in the basement, which forces air from the basement out through a pipe, which vents to the atmosphere. This is essentially a negative pressure concept, since the fan induces lower than atmospheric pressure in the pipe, so the basement air (which is at atmospheric pressure) flows towards the fan, and out the pipe. Possibly you misunderstood whoever was trying to explain the system, or maybe they did not understand the concept of negative air pressure.

In any case, the air in the basement that is exhausted is replaced by outside air, or perhaps air from upstairs, which in turn is replaced by outside air. Outside air generally contains only minute traces of radon, so you are effectively replacing high radon concentration basement air with low concentration outside air.

Radon is a dense gas, some seven times denser than air, so it tends to settle in the basement. It gets into the house because it is generated in the soil underneath the foundation, and the concentration of radon in the soil is higher than in your house. Gases move from high concentration to low concentration by diffusion, so some of the radon in the soil diffuses through cracks in your concrete floor, into the basement, where the radon can build up over time. The combination of sump plus fan removes accumulated radon, and in practice this is a pretty effective system for removing radon from the basement.

As to whether you need this system or not, that would depend on the concentration of radon in your basement, and your level of concern. Many houses in the Northeast where I live have higher than recommended radon levels, both in the air and in the water. Most people do not worry about it, but as I indicated, the science is inadequate in my opinion to make a judgement as to what level is "safe", whatever that means.

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