What Makes Passive Mitigation Effective or Ineffective

This past summer, a statewide Minnesota building code was put in effect in order to reduce the risk of exposure to the cancer-causing agent known as radon. The code was initiated after a staggering 40 percent of the homes that were tested for radon came back at levels above the safety standard. The Health Department then required passive mitigation systems be installed in new homes in order to reduce the levels of radon.

In turn, the Radon Resistant Construction Act was put forth this past June in the state of Illinois, requiring all new residential construction to have a passive radon pipe installed and to have a radon test conducted. However, after testing the new homes, it was found that the radon levels were still above 4.0 picocuries per liter, which is above the “safe” level.

As it turns outs, passive radon mitigation systems are not as effective as they were thought to be. Homeowners are still being exposed to radon and potentially deadly levels of this cancer-causing gas. Conducted by the Minnesota Health Department, a study showed that one in five new homes were still showing high radon levels, which was enough for a call to action.

The department offered homeowners with high radon levels a fan to upgrade their passive mitigation system, which would drastically reduce the level of gas found in the home. Without the fan, a passive mitigation system vents out the radioactive gas through the subbasement of a home but does not have enough force to eliminate enough of the deadly gas. The fan is what is essential to the passive mitigation system and is what most radon mitigation contractors now install. It provides suction and while it is costlier, after testing, the average amount of radon found in homes was about 0.3 picocuries per liter – a radical, much safer difference.

If you are concerned about radon levels in your home, visit our website for more information and schedule a residential radon testing with the knowledgeable and experienced inspectors at Pristine Inspections & Testing today.

(Posted by John Cheney of Pristine Inspections & Testing)