Services for Realtors – Knoxville, Tennessee

Radon Effecting Knoxville Tennessee Real Estate Market

Real estate transactions in Knoxville, Tennessee often involve an investigation of radon levels in the house being offered for sale. The extreme toxicity of radon has been known for decades, and buyers are usually anxious to know if a radon problem exists in the house they are considering making an offer on. Sellers should not be concerned when the subject arises. Of all the potential problems associated with a house on the market, radon levels are the easiest to measure and fix.

No One is Safe From Radon

Radon is simply the gas that is emitted as a by-product of the atomic decay of naturally occurring uranium traces in the rocks and soil. A colorless and odorless gas, it percolates through the soil and seeps into houses through the foundation, often through cracks, plumbing, electrical and ductwork openings, sump pump wells and other spaces. Contrary to common assumptions, a house does not have to include a basement to have higher concentrations of radon; structures built on concrete slabs and those with crawl spaces can also have high levels of the gas. Newly built houses are also just as susceptible as older ones. Surveys of radon tests has shown that the average radon level in single-family detached houses is 1.3 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), which is generally considered to be a safe level.

Do Not Put Your Family at Risk From Radon

Radon Knoxville Tennessee Real EstateRadon is a danger to human health because it is radioactive. Breathed in, it can cause lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers radon to be the second-highest cause of lung cancer, responsible for 21,000 cancer deaths in the United States each year. Although not everyone who breathes radon will develop cancer, nonetheless radon is listed as a Class A carcinogen, on par with asbestos, arsenic and benzene from gasoline. Studies, such as that conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health, have concluded that radon is the leading in-house danger in the United States. Concentrations of 4 pCi/L are considered by the EPA to be an “action level,” where radon mitigation is strongly recommended.

The geology of Tennessee lends itself to two regions of high concentrations of radon. One, running north-south, runs up the middle of the state. The other follows the course of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern part of Tennessee. Knox County, including Knoxville, is included in this Appalachian band of high radon risk. Studies of radon tests have shown that 32% of houses in the Knoxville, Tennessee area have levels of radon at or above 4 pCi/L. The only way to determine if a specific house has high levels of radon, however, is to perform a radon test.

We can offer such tests, providing fast and accurate results. If the tests show high levels of radon are present, it does not mean that a real estate transaction has to be withdrawn. We can also offer the homeowner and potential house buyer a service to design and install a radon mitigation system to lower the radon levels.