In Colorado, it’s not a matter of do you have radon, it’s a question of how much radon do you have?
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts. Outdoors, radon disperses rapidly and, generally, is not a health issue. Most radon exposure occurs inside homes, schools and workplaces. Radon gas becomes trapped indoors after it enters buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Indoor radon can be controlled and managed with proven, cost-effective techniques.
Breathing radon over time increases your risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Nationally, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.
How has it been up until now.
When you find a home in Pueblo or Pueblo West, CO often times your real estate agent or the inspector will ask you if you want to have a radon test performed on the home. In many cases the home inspector would run down to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy an at home test. Typical charges for this service is between $75 to $150.
The home inspector will install the at home testing kit in the home you have under contract and will leave it there for 3 days. At that point the inspector picks up the test, sends it overnight to an EPA testing laboratory and the results are usually returned within 24 to 48 hours.
If the results are greater than 4pCi/K, the EPA recommends that you mitigate the levels to lower the number to 4pCI/K or below.
In my experience a radon mitigation system will usually cost somewhere between $1,200 and $2,000 depending on the levels the test came back at and the size and the condition of the home.
In my experience many buyers think that they should ask the seller to install a radon mitigation system in the home if the levels are high. Also, in my experience many sellers will push back and say no the request, often citing something like I’ve lived in this home for 20 years and I don’t have any issues, or if the buyer wants to have the system installed, they can pay for one. If this is something that is of great concern, it’s imperative that you communicate this to your real estate agent so they can do their best at negotiating this installation for you.
New rules go into effect July 1, 2022
The prevalence of Colorado homes with excessive levels of radon has created a market in which unqualified individuals are representing themselves and practicing as radon professionals. Therefore, to protect the public, it is necessary to establish minimum qualifications for radon professionals and to require professionals who possess such qualification to acquire a license before performing radon measurement or radon mitigation.
Your real estate professional can recommend a licensed measurement professional, or you can look at this website dpo.colorado.gov for a list of available licensees. Use the “search a License” feature to location licensee details, including any disciplinary actions taken again a radon professional.
You may also find additional information regarding the licensure of radon measurement professionals and radon mitigation professionals in this informative booklet.
You can also take a look at the EPA website at What is radon gas? Is it dangerous? | US EPA