Iowa City Delays Required Radon Testing for Rental Units to July 1, 2021

The City of Iowa City’s plan to verify radon testing at all single-family detached and duplex rental units has been delayed until July 1, 2021 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In January, the City of Iowa City announced a new policy requiring all single-family detached and duplex rental properties to be tested for hazardous radon levels as a step toward improving public health. The ordinance, set to go into effect on July 1, 2020, has been extended and will begin July 1, 2021.

The city remains committed to radon testing and mitigation as important health measures. The Iowa Department of Public Health identifies radon as the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Iowa’s indoor radon average of 8 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) is more than six times the national average. The EPA recommends that all Iowa homes be tested for radon and homes with indoor levels of radon over 4 pCi/L be fixed.   

While testing and mitigation are important, due to the pandemic the city will delay the new radon requirements to reduce contact between staff and public thereby limiting exposure and COVID-19 coronavirus spread.

Property owners are encouraged to use this extension to schedule radon inspections and take the steps needed for mitigation while units may be vacant. Radon testing completed throughout this year will be accepted to document compliance with the new radon requirements that will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

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