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Should I test for radon?
Radon is estimated to cause 21,000 deaths per year in the USA. It is one of the leading causes of lung cancer that can easily be avoided. Radon is an invisible, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can concentrate in homes. It's health effects are cumulative, meaning that it accumulates in the lungs over time. Below are some exhibits of the concerns of radon.
It is invisible but in certain conditions it can be seen. Here is what radon looks like under these conditions. These are the alpha decay particles (the dangerous ones) in a cloud chamber.
Ever wonder why that person who doesn't smoke gets lung cancer? There is a good chance it was from radon. Below is the story of Bonnie Mueller, a non-smoker, who was diagnosed with lung cancer.
When you are buying a house you have the opportunity to test your future home. Yes, it is a little investment but there is a good chance of having the sellers pay to install a mitigation system if levels are high. You can test the home after you own it relatively inexpensively but you will now be on the hook for paying for mitigation. Even if you choose not to mitigate high levels when you sell the home, there is a good chance that the next buyer is going to want it mitigated which will fall on you.
Below are some links to the EPA's radon information.
Citizen's Guide to Radon
Homebuyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon
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