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October 2011
 
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Active Testing Advantages


Radon measurement devices fall broadly into 2 categories; passive or active radon monitors. A passive radon monitor is generally small and light weight and does not require any power to operate. Passive radon monitors also need to be sent away for some sort of laboratory analysis. Some examples of passive monitors are charcoal canisters, electret ion chambers, and alpha track detectors. 

A continuous radon monitor (CRM) is an active radon monitor. The CRM is electronic and therefore requires some sort of power to operate. It can get its power either from a standard AC wall outlet or from batteries. 

Some of the advantages of doing a continuous radon monitor test are:

  • The continuous radon monitor has the ability to time integrate the radon measurement. Most continuous radon monitors, as a minimum, integrate hourly, but some higher end models can be set to integrate anywhere from 1 minute to 1 week.
  • Some devices have a digital readout that can be set to display the current radon level or the long term average radon level.
  • Many models come equipped with other environmental sensors to simultaneously measure other parameters like; ambient temperature, barometric pressure and relative humidity.
  • Most continuous radon monitors have the ability to collect and store their measurement data. This data can then be downloaded and used to generate various reports about the radon measurement.
  • Results from CRMs can be read and analyzed on-the-spot after a minimum of two days of data collection. Comparatively, passive monitor results typically require an additional 5 days for analysis.

Some disadvantages of a continuous radon monitor are:

  • Most continuous radon monitors require a trained, skilled operator.
  • Except for consumer models, continuous radon monitors need to be sent out for regular calibration.
  • Most professional grade continuous radon monitors are fairly expensive (several thousand dollars).
Some nice green grass
Some nice green grass

From the Editor
Invisible Radon

Radon is invisible. Not only in the air but in the media and in the public consciousness. We field calls on a daily basis because people don't have the information they need to make an informed decision about radon testing.

This month we're featuring a newsletter focused on some basics about radon in the air. Next month we'll follow up with info about radon in water.

— Susan Rubinsky, Editor

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In This ISSUE:

Radon, A Primer
Radon, A Primer

Connecticut Radon Zones: What do they mean?
CT Radon Zones: What do they mean?

The Risks of Radon Exposure
The Risks of Radon Exposure

Coming Next Month

All you need to know about radon and water.

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