Importance of Radon Testing in Commercial Buildings

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Commercial buildings serve as workplaces for millions of people worldwide. Therefore, ensuring a safe, healthy, and productive environment within these structures is crucial. One key aspect of creating such an environment is maintaining high indoor air quality. This entails monitoring and managing various potential pollutants, one of which is radon. This article will explore the importance of radon testing in commercial buildings and the associated requirements.

Understanding Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It originates from the decay of uranium found in nearly all soils. Radon can enter buildings through cracks in foundations, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around service pipes, and even the water supply. Once inside, radon can accumulate to harmful levels, especially in closed areas with little ventilation.

Why Radon Testing is Important

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually. Workers spending substantial time in commercial buildings with high radon levels are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Therefore, testing for radon in commercial buildings is not only important, it’s crucial for ensuring the health and safety of building occupants. Regular testing can identify elevated levels of radon, facilitating necessary mitigation steps to reduce exposure and associated health risks.

Radon Testing Requirements

The WELL Building Standard outlines the following requirement for radon testing in commercial buildings:

Radon levels should be 0.15 Bq/L [4 pCi/L] or lower in regularly occupied spaces at or below grade. The testing must be conducted by a professional who has no conflict of interest with the WELL project. For every 25,000 ft² of regularly occupied space at or below grade, at least one test should be conducted.

This requirement is based on the fact that radon levels are typically higher in basements and lower levels of buildings because these areas are closer to the ground where radon seeps in.


The health risks associated with radon exposure underscore the need for regular radon testing in commercial buildings. Building owners and facility managers should work with certified professionals to perform radon testing and, if necessary, implement effective radon mitigation strategies. This proactive approach can help create safer, healthier workplaces and contribute to the overall well-being and productivity of building occupants.

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