Q: How will reports about possible hazards of radon affect the sale of our home? Are tests being required, and how can the problem be remedied?A: Various guidelines exist on what levels of radon are safe and not safe. Research is ongoing and until a definitive determination surfaces on which levels of exposure are safe and how dangerous radon gas exposure is, we can only follow accepted recommendations and practices.

Many relocation companies are now requiring radon testing of all properties they work with. Government agencies are also pushing for mandatory disclosure by Realtors selling homes. Radon has been found in homes along the east bench of Sandy, causing prospective buyers to require testing as a condition to their offer to purchase.

Several self-testing methods for radon exist. The local health department or Utah Bureau of Radiation Control can give you specifics and the names of some companies who sell the testing devices. The cost should not exceed $30, which should include a laboratory reading of the results.

If a contractor is hired to test for radon, verify the contractor's credentials before committing to the service.

It's unlikely that expensive repairs be required to fix radon leakage. The gas enters the house from cracks in the floor and foundation, and through floor drains. Venting the basement will usually take care of the problem and gases can take from three hours to three days to dissipate.