radon

Asked February 11, 2017, 7:05 PM EST

Do I need to test for radon if I live in a manufactured home which is situated on a permanent foundation several feet off the ground? I also use a well for water. Thank you. Lisa M.

Nevada

2 Responses

I contacted our Radon program Director Susan Howe about your question. Here is her information and response. I hope this will help. Short term Radon kits are still free at our county offices this month.

There are only four types of homes that don’t need to worry about radon: tree house, house on stilts, house boat, and a mobile home on blocks with no skirting around it. Mobile/manufactured homes on concrete or blocks with skirting around them should be tested. Any building with contact to the ground has the possibility of having elevated radon levels. That includes crawl space, slab and basement foundations. So, I guess the answer is YES.

The well water is a hard one to answer. Homes with private water wells can have radon in them. Generally, though, a person should test their home for radon first, before worrying about their well water. Well water can also be a source of radon gas, too, as radon can get into groundwater, and the radon is off-gassed when the water is used in showers, sinks, etc. But water could contribute maybe 2% of a home’s radon levels, while the soil gas source contributes about 95% of a home’s radon levels.

Susan H. Howe / Program Director / robertss@unce.unr.edu

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4955 Energy Way, Reno, NV 89502

tel 775.336.0248 fax 775.784.4881

Radon Hot line: 888-RADON-10 (888.723.6610)

www.RadonNV.com

Here is more information on testing your water for Radon

Radon in Water Testing Information
The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health has found no evidence that radon
in water contributes significantly to the indoor radon problem in Nevada. Therefore,
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Nevada Radon Education Program does
not offer radon test kits for water. The major health concern for radon is from breathing
elevated levels of radon in the air, which can cause lung cancer.
Although there is a slight risk associated with ingesting water containing elevated levels
of radon, the primary concern is the release of radon from normal water use into indoor
air (off‐gassing). However, if a house has a radon problem, it is more likely caused by
radon entering the house from the soil below, rather than off‐gassing from the water
supply. Thus, test the home for radon in the air before considering a radon in water
test.
Generally, homes with private wells are more apt to have a radon concern than homes
on public water systems. If you are interested in testing your water, test kits are
available from several sources.
The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory (NSPHL), located on the north end of the
UNR campus, will send water samples for radon analysis to an EPA approved lab for
about $81. (See attached information for radon in water testing offered by NSPHL.) For
information and current pricing, call NSPHL at 775‐688‐1335. The lab also offers water
testing for fluoride, nitrates, arsenic and volatile organic compounds.
The Nevada Radon website, www.RadonNV.com also offers a Resources/Links section
for Radon Supply Companies. The following chart lists companies that specifically offer
radon in water kits, along with the price, website page, and the company’s phone
number.
Company Price of
test kit Website page for radon in water kit Phone
number
Accustar Labs $35.00 http://www.accustarlabs.com/Default.aspx#5 888‐480‐8812
Alpha Energy Laboratories $24.95 http://drhomeair.com/buy/ 800‐324‐5928
Infiltec $26.00 http://www.infiltec.com/inf‐catr.htm#Testing 888‐349‐7236
Professional Discount
Pro Lab call for pricing http://reliablelab.com/b/radon‐testing/ 800‐427‐0550
Radon Testing Corporation
of America $29.95 http://www.rtca.com/product.asp?prodID=6&catID=9 800‐457‐2366
The University of Nevada, Reno is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, creed,
national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation in any
program or activity it operates. The University of Nevada employs only United States
citizens and aliens lawfully authorized to work in the United States.
This publication is supported by the Nevada State Division of Public and Behavioral
Health through Grant Number K1-96963517-0 from the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the
official views of neither the Division nor the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Updated 11‐29‐16
RADON in WATER SAMPLING INSTRUCTIONS
University of Nevada School of Medicine
Nevada State Public Health Laboratory
1660 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89503
775-688-1335
Radon in Water sampling instructions were obtained from page 19 of the University of Nevada’s School of
Medicine, Nevada State Public Health Laboratory Chemistry Directory of Services found in the Environmental
Analysis section of the website at:
The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory (NSPHL) will accept radon in water tests and will send them
to an EPA approved lab to analyze. The cost for analysis is around $81.
Call NSPHL for a Radon in Water test kit that includes:
1. A Nevada State Health Lab request form.
2. Two small 40 ml amber vials for each source.
Instructions for testing radon in water include the following:
1. **DO NOT COLLECT WATER FOR A RADON TEST ON A FRIDAY AS THE WATER SAMPLE MUST
BE RETURNED TO THE LAB WITHIN 24 HOURS OF COLLECTION.
2. Brand new wells need to run for a minimum of 24 hours at a reasonable flow. Wells that have been used
consistently for a while need to run a minimum of 4 hours at a slow flow. In either case, route the water
outside to avoid filling your septic tank.
3. Slightly overfill the vials so that you visibly see a dome at the top of the vial. When the cap is screwed
on it will squeeze out the excess sample and prevent air bubbles from forming in the vials.
4. Screw the cap on each vial.
5. With one hand hold the vial upside down and tap it lightly on your other hand. If air bubbles surface,
then uncap the vial and add more water. (The sample will not be analyzed if there are air bubbles in
the vials.)
6. Place the vials on ice for transport to the laboratory. Make sure that enough ice is used to ensure that the
samples will be cool until they arrive at the laboratory.
Reasons for potential sample rejection include, but are not limited to:
 Improperly preserved samples, i.e. wrong pH, too hot, wrong or missing
preservative, etc.
 Leaking sample bottles
 Insufficient sample volume submitted for requested analysis
 Incomplete/missing/or incorrectly filled out paper work
 Sample labels missing or indecipherable
 Expired or soon to expire holding times