I’ve been in contact with several people involved with radon this past week in various state departments/divisions. One of the main issues has been how to relay what we have learned about radon test score distributions in the state and how that can be communicated to health professionals as well as residents.
One state has figured out how to provide a kind of radon hazard potential map which is based certainly on known test scores, but it also takes into account the geology. For radon concentrations to be a home problem, half of the necessary factors are specific to the home itself. But to get radon gas to the home site, the two necessary factors involve the soils and presence of the source product- uranium. When there is no uranium below a housing area, then there will be no problem. So it makes sense that to overlay the presence of uranium (and strata levels it is at) along with soil types onto the location of building sites would be helpful in looking at geographical potential of radon issues.
But what I’ve learned is that there is no definitive map as to where pockets of uranium, their amount, or extent are present. The best indication geologists can reasonably utilize is estimating uranium loads by looking at locations of the type of geological formations which uranium typically accompanies. Unless there are uranium deposits that are being mined in an area, it is simply too costly to use precision locating methods for uranium under down below. And thus uranium’s byproduct of radon gas is not easily traceable to it’s origin when thinking in terms of lot locations.
So the answer I have to give people when they call to ask if their property is at risk for radon complications, I have to rely on the old slogan, “The only way you will know if you have a radon problem is to test!”