New Radon action levels

For those that do Radon testing or mitigation, thought you might like to see this press release on the new “action” level for radon - this is going to “hose” alot of home sellers -

Looks to me that there is going to be alot of feedback from Realtors. I wonder how long it will take for the war to begin. Then the associations and lawyer getting into the race to sue HI’s about how they are testing and whom is qualified.
Time will tell.
Thanks for the update.

Must be some kind of stimulus thing!

and who is this really?
The United Nations public health arm. Oh sucking great!
I bet the radiation level at the UN is off the scale, considering those that occupy that building!

4.0 is not safe and 4.01 is not dangerous according to past protocol.
It is a level that all lower 48 states can possibly achieve. This leaves out places like Canada and other high level areas (for a reason).
The “action level” has nothing to do with what is acceptiable. It is about what level of mitigation can be expected.

Seeing as how many people quit smoking in recent years (which in combination with Radon increases the chance of lung cancer 800%), I guess they need to lower the levels to scare people more…

I have gotten nothing but grief from MD’s the Nucular Engineers at Oak Ridge about how minuscule 4.0 pCi/l is.

All this means is that I have to put up witn more grief…

Has the EPA made changes to their protocals yet? I’m conducting a test today. I’m curious what the lab report will say now once I send the test kits off to the lab. I informed my client on the old rules should I update her or is it to early yet?

There’s been no change in the U.S. Radon levels that I can find yet.
I’m still using the 4.0 figure, until they come out with something different…

This press release was posted by a Radon Mitigation Company who has a vetted interest in the action level being lowered. While the study may be official and the results may be valid, I would not change protocol or advise my clients otherwise, until the EPA announces the change.

This is nothing more than a “recommendation” based on a study. So, unless the EPA and the US Surgeon General publicly announce the change, it’s business as usual and the action level is still 4.0 pCi/L.



OK, here’s the scoop. The official US EPA position is that there is no safe level of radon. Alpha particle strikes to lung tissue have the potential to start the road toward lung cancer. The Indoor Radon Abatement Act of 1988 spells out a goal of lowering indoor radon levels to equal outdoor levels, which has basically between 0.3 and 0.5 pCi/L. However, these levels are technologically impossible at this time, which is where the 4.0 pCi/L number came from. Current technology should be able to bring the radon down to 4, but the lower the better.

The WHO Handbook is basically reinforcing the EPA message that radon, even below 4.0 pCi/L poses significant health risks. They chose the round number of 100 Bq/m3 (2.7 pCi/L). This message was supported by the 30 countries that participated in the WHO project, including involvement from the US EPA.

However, changing the EPA Action Level to 2.7 would bring with it a ton of problems at this time, so they’re sticking with 4.0. But their message is still the same as it always has been, 3.9 isn’t the goal, it is the minimum reduction at which they find to be somewhat acceptable.

It would be tough to bring all existing homes to levels under 2.7 pCi/L, as some of them are really pains in the arse. However, a builder using proper RRNC techniques, which may include activating many of the passive systems, should be able to easily keep radon under 2.7. In my opinion, EPA would be smart to use the WHO guideline for new construction, because that one is achievable. The U.K. has similar requirements for new buildings as opposed to existing buildings, and that would be a good precedence to follow. I have zero involvement with radon mitigation, so there is no vested interest on my part. I’m just in the camp of trying to prevent unnecessary lung cancers. I’ve met non-smoking lung cancer patients and talking to them is quite the wake-up call!

Shawn Price

Thanks for the update guys.

Just wanted to pass it on - I, too, will hold to current standards till EPA changes it-

This is the response I recieved from the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Protection. Hope it helps.

The 2.7 pCi/L (100 bacquerels) is a recommendation (reference level) from the World Health Organization in their recent report/handbook. Full text of the report can be found here:](

As noted by the WHO, “The overall goal of this handbook is to provide an up-to-date overview of the major aspects of radon and health. It does not aim to replace existing radiation protection standards, rather it emphasizes issues relevant to the comprehensive planning, implementation and evaluation of national radon programmes.”

The USEPA and ODH do not have any intentions of lowering the Action Level of 4.0 pCi/L.

It would be prudent to use the EPA guidlines with the client after the testing has been done. However, when marketing your radon service I would have no problem bringing up the WHO action levels and talking about themto potential clients.

I spoke to a guy today at the EPA Radon office (Brian). He told me that mine was the second call he had gotten in regards to this. He told me that I should continue with “status quo” for the time being, and not to look for any kind of statement from the EPA for 6 months or so. He stated that the bureaucratic process is quite slow, and in the mean time continue to use the 4.0 mitigation recommendation for real estate transactions for now. He gave no hint or indication as to what the EPA’s official position will be.

BTW He told me the other call he got was from a real estate agent. Apparently she was really pissed. LOL…

I also follow the 4.0 rule but will use the WHO guidelines in my marketing. A side note, I’m in the middle up purchasing a new home. so far things are coming back OK, well, septic, inspection. I received the Radon report today 28.9. It looks like I will get a mitigation system.

28.9 are you sure the kits weren’t tamped with or the machine you used was calibrated right? I would retest if it was my house.

Billy - in some areas up here in the mountains of CO i have gotten readings of over 200 ! 28 doesn’t sound that bad -

We almost never test under 4.0 much less 2.7. This might eliminate radon testing completely here if anyone ever figures out that nothing is ever under 2.7.