Montgomery Country MD. Legislators Pass
New Radon Testing Regulations
As of October 1, 2016, Montgomery County law requires that single-family homes must be tested for radon before completing a sale of the home. The radon testing requirement applies to detached homes and town homes in Montgomery County, Maryland. The legislation requires home sellers to test for radon and make the results available before putting property on the market, the Washington Post reported.
Montgomery County is the first local government in the U.S. to enact such a law.
The Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors protested the legislation, arguing that it served little purpose, as most buyers make radon testing a condition upon sale. The organization also contended that current state legislation, which mandates that sellers disclose radon problems to buyers, effectively addressed the issue. Legislators, along with officials at the Montgomery County attorney’s office, asserted that buyers needed further protections.
“We are just asking people to test,” Councilman Craig Rice, the bill’s sponsor, explained in an interview with American University Radio. “Just to make sure that they know what may be lurking in their homes unknown that might be a silent, deadly killer.”
“Legislators in Montgomery County, passed legislation requiring home sellers to test for radon.”
The law requires a radon test to have been done within one year of the settlement date and can be performed by the buyer, seller or professional radon testing contractor. An approve device must be utilized for the test.
Radon is an invisible, tasteless and odorless radioactive gas that forms in soil and groundwater deposits, according to the Environment Protection Agency. The gas usually invades homes through cracks in their foundation and can cause lung cancer in adults and children. In fact, an estimated 21,000 people die each year as a result of radon-related lung cancer.
Radon is an especially serious problem in Montgomery County, as it’s centered on an area that exhibits higher than average radon levels, Bethesda Magazine reported. Indeed, the EPA considers the municipality a Zone 1 risk, meaning local radon levels may exceed 4 picocuries per liter. Most public health authorities, including the EPA and World Health Organization, consider readings above 2.7 Pci/l unsafe.