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Council Considers Bill to Require Radon Test Prior to Home Purchase



The Montgomery County Council is considering a bill, proposed by Germantown-area (District 2) Councilmember Craig Rice that would require the seller of a single-family home to test for Radon and give the buyer a copy of the radon test results.

Radon is a radioactive gas found in the air that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. High levels of radon can cause serious illnesses and often occur in single family homes in the County. Although radon remediation from a single family home is possible, many people purchase a home without knowing if high levels of radon exist in the home.

“With radon, what we have found from advocates from the local Air Quality Advisory Committee is that areas in northern Montgomery County primarily register in the hot-spot zone when it comes to radon,” said Rice.

Radon is measured in picoCuries, a picoCurie is 0.000,000,000,001 (one-trillionth) of a Curie, an international measurement unit of radioactivity. One pCi/L means that in one liter of air there will be 2.2 radioactive disintegrations each minute. The average national indoor radon level is 1.3 pCi/L.

In areas of northern Montgomery County, according to Rice, the average radon level for a single-family home is double the national average.

Bill 31-15 would require the seller of a single-family home to test for radon and give the buyer a copy of the radon test results. It would also require the seller to provide the buyer with an estimate to reduce radon under certain circumstances.