NEW RADON GUIDANCE TO HELP REMEDIAL EFFORTS
(05/04) TRENTON -- Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today released new radon
testing guidance that includes a statewide, three-category tier
system that will be used to better protect the public from exposure
to this harmful naturally occurring gas.
"The new information helps us protect public health in areas
where elevated levels of radon present risk," said Campbell.
"Testing for radon is simple and inexpensive, and elevated
levels can readily be lowered."
Radon mitigation systems can be installed at an average cost
of $1,200. DEP provides a list of certified businesses that offer
testing and mitigation services. Do it yourself test kits also
can be obtained from many hardware stores and local health departments.
All radon test results conducted in New Jersey are reported to
DEP by certified companies performing the tests or that manufacture
test kits. This data is used to classify municipalities into a
three-tier system according to the potential for identifying homes
with indoor radon problems. The Department determines the number
of homes in which a radon test was performed and the percentage
of those homes with a test result that was greater than or equal
to the guidance level of four (4) picoCuries per liter (pCi/L).
The average indoor radon level in the United States is about
1.3 pCi/L. At the level of 4 pCi/L, DEP recommends a homeowner
consider steps to reduce long-term exposure to radon gas.
The tier system classifies municipalities as having high (Tier
1), moderate (Tier 2) or low (Tier 3) potential for indoor radon
levels. DEP will provide municipalities whose radon designation
was upgraded to Tiers 1 and 2 with materials to develop an outreach
program for homeowners. Activities to increase awareness about
the need for testing include local proclamations, news flyers
and presentations to community groups.
New construction in Tier 1 municipalities must incorporate radon
resistant construction techniques as required by the Radon Hazard
Subcode, which is administered by the New Jersey Department of
Community Affairs. The techniques, which help prevent radon from
entering buildings, are simple and inexpensive ways to reduce
radon levels in homes.
The criteria for a Tier 1 municipality designation is at least
25 homes tested with 25 percent or more having radon concentrations
greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L. Tier 2 towns have at least 25
homes tested with 5 to 24 percent having radon concentrations
greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L. Tier 3 towns have at least 25
homes tested with less than 5 percent having radon concentrations
greater than or equal to 4 pCi/L.
DEP changed tier designations for 34 municipalities this month.
The following eight municipalities are now classified as Tier
|| Mine Hill Township
The following 21 municipalities are now classified as Tier 2:
||Somers Point City
|| Englewood Cliffs Borough
North Arlington Borough
River Vale Township
|| Edgewater Park Township
|| Pine Hill Borough
|| Clayton Borough
South Harrison Township
||Little Egg Harbor Township
||Upper Pittsgrove Township
||Roselle Park Borough
The following five municipalities are now classified as Tier
|| Moonachie Borough
|| Brooklawn Borough
|| National Park Borough
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium
and radium break down in the soil and in rock formations. Radon
gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through
cracks in the foundation and openings around pumps, pipes and
For more information, homeowners can contact DEP's Radon Section
at (800) 648-0394 or visit www.njradon.org.