Monday, December 8, 2014

Radon in Pennsylvania Homes -DEP Finds Record-High Radon Level in Lehigh County Home

DEP Finds Record-High Radon Level in Lehigh County Home 
Press Release - 
"HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has identified a home in the Center Valley area of Lehigh County with the highest home radon level ever measured in Pennsylvania. DEP encourages all area residents to have their homes tested for radon. This is especially important now that homes are winterized, limiting the amount of fresh air that will be entering those structures.

The concentration measured was 3,715 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).  Additionally, several other homes in the area have had measured concentrations over 1,000 pCi/L. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that that any dwelling or structure with a radon concentration of more than 4 pCi/L be remediated to lower the radon concentration. In this circumstance, DEP recommended the occupants vacate the home until the measured radon concentration is verified and remediated to a level less than 4 pCi/L.
“Radon can be a serious health risk to people when they are exposed to high levels of it over a long period of time,” DEP Acting Secretary Dana Aunkst said.  “While recent results in this area are among the highest ever measured, it’s important to know that the risk is easily remediated.” 

Area residents are encouraged to attend an informational meeting that will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Upper Saucon Township Municipal Building, 5500 Camp Meeting Rd., Center Valley. This meeting will provide an opportunity for residents to speak with radon professionals from DEP and EPA to learn more about this risk and how to mitigate it. Residents will receive lists of area companies that are currently certified by DEP to perform radon testing, mitigation and laboratory analysis. Residents will also be able to view a sample mitigation system.

Elevated radon levels in homes in this area were initially observed in September. In response, DEP sent letters to more than 500 Center Valley area residents and included a coupon for a free test kit to encourage the residents to test their homes. The residents of the home with this highest measured radon concentration responded to that letter by testing their home. In addition, DEP is working with several other residents to conduct follow-up testing, as well as taking soil and rock samples in the area that will undergo additional testing.
Pennsylvania law prohibits DEP from publicly disclosing the address of private residential test results.

DEP has also contacted the local school district to ensure that radon testing has or will occur in area schools.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally through the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. It can enter a home through cracks in the foundation or other openings. According to EPA, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in

Pennsylvania and causes about 20,000 lung-cancer deaths in the U.S. every year.

Testing for radon is the only way to know if a home, school, workplace or other structure has elevated concentrations of radon. Most test kits can be purchased at hardware or home improvement stores at an average cost of $15 to $25 per test.  The cost of a mitigation system typically ranges around $1000.

While elevated radon concentrations in homes may be more common in certain regions of the state, the potential exists for any home in
Pennsylvania to have high radon levels. Elevated radon levels have been detected in all 67 counties. About 40 percent of homes in the state have the potential for radon levels above EPA’s action level.

For more information about radon, including information on interpreting test results and finding a Pennsylvania-certified radon contractor, visit, keyword: Radon, or call 800-23-RADON."

1. For the past 20+ years, we and PA has been recommending indoor Radon testing.
2. You should have your air and water tested and radon testing in water should be part of a baseline assessment.

3. Looking for more information - Visit The Water Research Center -

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