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J Environ Health. 2013 Oct;76(3):18-24.

Physical conditions of a house and their effects on measured radon levels: data from Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, 2010-2011.

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School of Public Health, and Center for School and Community-Based Research and Education Rutgers University Biomedical and Health Sciences. USA.


Concentrations of radon in homes are thought to be dependent on several factors, including the presence of certain physical conditions of the house that act as entry points for this colorless, odorless gas. Drains and sump pits are currently sealed as part of radon mitigation, but doing so may cause drainage problems and mold. The authors attempted to determine if specific attributes and physical conditions of homes are associated with measured residential concentrations of radon. Radon tests were conducted in 96 participating homes in rural Hillsborough Township, New Jersey, November 2010-February 2011. Samplers were placed and a walk-through survey was conducted. Test devices were analyzed by a New Jersey certified radon testing laboratory and results compared to survey data. Overall, 50% of houses with a perimeter drain and 30% of houses with a sump pit exceeded the New Jersey and federal radon action level of 4.0 picocuries per liter, and 47% of homes with both a sump and a perimeter "French" drain exceeded this action level. The authors' results suggested certain physical conditions act as pathways allowing radon entry into homes. Results could be used by local and state agencies to start local initiatives, e.g., increased testing or to seal these components as partial mitigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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