Note: At this time, all free radon kits have been reserved. Discounted, $3 test kits are still available through the City of Rockville at www.rockvillemd.gov/radon.
The City of Rockville is giving away 150 radon test kits to city residents for National Radon Action Month.
The test kit involves placing a small measuring device in the basement or the lowest level of your home, raised three feet off the ground, in the middle of the room for two to four days. Once the test is completed, follow the directions on the test kit packaging to mail the device to a laboratory for the results. Reservations for a free test kit, a link to discounted $3 kits and more can be found at www.rockvillemd.gov/radon.
A new radon law goes into effect Sunday, Jan. 1 in Rockville that applies Montgomery County’s home energy disclosure and radon testing laws to the sale of single-family homes and townhomes in Rockville. The change provides home buyers with access to important home health and energy information.
The Mayor and Council adopted the ordinance on July 18 to allow residents and businesses time to comply with the requirement and to coincide with National Radon Action Month in January. The goal is to protect public health from radon exposure and promote home energy efficiency, an objective of the city’s Climate Action Plan.
Radon, which was Rockville’s focus for Building Safety Month in May, is an invisible, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas. While no immediate symptoms will signal its presence, exposure at high levels can cause cancer. Testing is the only way to know a home’s radon levels.
The city’s building code requires all new single-family construction to include passive radon mitigation, such as subfloor preparation, installation of a soil-gas retarder, the closure of potential radon entry routes and the installation of vent pipes, all of which are verified through required city inspections.
Last summer, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded Rockville Housing Enterprises, the city’s public housing agency, $157,870 to support radon testing and mitigation demonstrations. Rockville was one of nine U.S. cities awarded such funding.