Soils and underground rocks release a radioactive gas called radon, and this radon gas accumulates in indoor structures at various levels. Various studies have linked radon gas exposure with lung cancer and various lung diseases.
Recently we’ve received a few questions regarding our radon testing standards. Referencing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States and the World Health Organization (WHO) in Switzerland and across the globe, one key difference emerges: recommended levels for remediation.
- EPA = 4.0 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L)
- WHO = 2.7 pCi/L (also noted as 100 becquerels per cubic meter)
When a testing organization like ours chooses to use the lower WHO standard, this can cause disagreement in local markets where the EPA standard is considered the norm.
Our reasoning for following WHO is threefold:
- The WHO is a more broadly researched and well-studied organization, drawing from over 7000 people working in 150 country offices.
- The stricter standard level (2.7 pCi/L) for remediation protects clients more than a more permissible standard level (4.0 pCi/L).
- The marginal benefit of relying on a the tighter standard is higher for the client. In essence, if we say a testing level of 2.9 pCi/L requires remediation, but another party disagrees, nothing is lost to our client.
For further research, consult the links above.