“Many of these are techniques already being used successfully by the green building community.”
Fletcher, NC (PRWEB) January 22, 2013
The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) announced that a new standard, ANSI/AARST CCAH-2013, “Reducing Radon in New Construction of 1 & 2 Family Dwellings and Townhouses” was approved on January 11, 2013 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
The new standard, referred to as RRNC 2.0, was promulgated by the AARST consensus standards writing consortium and provides code specific language for dealing with radon in new construction. The new RRNC 2.0 standard provides a tool to make sure that new homes do not create radon risk for occupants or long term liabilities for developers, bankers and builders.
David Kapturowski, Vice President of AARST, and Chair of the AARST standards committee that created the new document, said that this will be an important contribution to radon risk reduction in the United States.
“Unfortunately, there are more homes in the United States today with elevated indoor radon levels than there were 25 years ago,” said Kapturowski, “because the rate of radon mitigation has simply not kept pace with the rate of new home construction."
Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, is classified as a Group A carcinogen in the United States and it is estimated by the EPA that radon causes as many as 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year. The recommended EPA action level is 4 picocuries per Liter of air (pCi/L).
RRNC 2.0 is an AARST/ANSI “Model Code” standard for the installation of radon control means and testing of new construction and is intended to replace the International Residential Code Appendix F in the body of the building code. It is planned that this will become a prescriptive building code with performance requirements to treat all foundation types with a radon system “Rough In” including; soil gas collection plenum (s), piping and an electrical junction box – and to require radon testing for an occupancy permit. If the unit tests high, the system can be easily activated.
“Many of these are techniques already being used successfully by the green building community,” said Kapturowski. “And if done as part of initial home construction, they do not add significantly to the cost of a home.”
Adherence to the code will reduce not only health risk but also financial risks to builders and bankers who are concerned about building homes with long term radioactive problems. It is estimated that over 8 Million American homes and 70,000 classrooms have high levels of radon in them.
AARST will be presenting a proposal to the IRC to replace Appendix F with this standard in April 2013 at the committee hearings in Dallas, Texas.
AARST is an ANSI accredited standards writing organizations and a nonprofit, professional organization of members who are dedicated to the highest standard of excellence and ethical performance of radon measurement, radon mitigation and transfer of radon information for the benefit of members, consumers and the public at large.