Radon Gas Test

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes be screened for this leading cause of lung cancer.  Some facts and figures:

  • • Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive soil gas
  • • Radon gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, and it blends with the air in your home
  • • Radon attacks only lung tissue, and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers
  • • Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the U.S.
  • • Northeast Wisconsin tends to be a radon “hot spot”
  • • Radon levels are high in more than 50% of the homes screened by Bottom Line Home Inspection in Northeast Wisconsin
  • • Radon problems can be corrected

The EPA recommends a radon mitigation system be installed when radon levels are 4 pCi/l (picoCuries of radon per liter of air) or higher.  Should your home require corrective action, there are local radon mitigation contractors that are certified to do the work.

The WHO (World Health Organization), however, recommends mitigation when radon levels are 2.7 pCi/l, and the EPA is anticipated to adopt this figure. Go to the WHO web site for more information.

For a better understanding of radon gas and the risks it poses, please visit the EPA’s Web page.

Screening tests with an electronic monitor are available from Bottom Line Home Inspection.

Note:  If you are purchasing a home and you wish to have it tested for radon, be sure to include a radon test contingency in your Offer to Purchase.  This gives you permission to perform the test.  Without such a contingency the owner/seller can refuse to allow the test.

The radon test must be performed for a minimum of 48 EPA hours (52 hours overall), but can continue for many additional hours, even days.  The radon test must be performed with the home functioning under normal operating conditions, the conditions under which you normally live.  To ensure accuracy the following guidelines must be adhered to:

Radon Test Protocol


Twelve (12) Hours Before the Test
  • • Window and Doors – Keep closed except for normal entry and exit.
  • • Fireplaces – Do not use, and keep dampers and doors closed.
  • • Whole House Ventilation Systems – Do not operate (turn off).
  • • Heating or Cooling System – Operate at normal, comfortable levels.

During the Test
  • • Window and Doors – Keep closed except for normal entry and exit.
  • • Fireplaces – Do not use, and keep dampers and doors closed.
  • • Whole House Ventilation Systems – Do not operate (turn off).
  • • Heating or Cooling System – Operate at normal, comfortable levels.
  • • Monitor – Do not disturb or reposition (sensors detect and record movement).

The monitor is to be placed in the lowest occupyable level of the home, at least 20 inches off of the floor, and away from exterior walls, HVAC registers and sump crocks.  A 120 volt outlet must be available to power the monitor.

Failure to adhere to this protocol may (artificially) increase radon levels and may invalidate the test. 

Please contact us at 920-255-2197 if you have any questions.