According to the EPA, radon causes approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year and is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. More people in the US die from radon than from drunk drivers, homicides or Parkinson's disease.
What is radon? Radon is a gas that results from the breakdown of Uranium in the soil. It most often gets into a home through cracks in the foundation or construction joints as the gas moves up through the ground. Radon cannot be seen or smelled – the only detection method is testing.
Radon exists in every state and approximately 6% of all houses have elevated levels. High radon levels have been found in every state and can vary from house to house. In addition, there is no safe level of radon.
Radon Potential Zone Map
- Zone 1 Counties with highest potential average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L
- Zone 2 Counties with moderate potential average indoor radon screening level between 2 and 4 pCi/L
- Zone 3 Counties with lower potential average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L
Radon Tips - Indoor Radon Screening in Your Home
- Test your home for radon. Select the lowest level room where you spend most of your time (typically a bedroom or basement). Radon kits can be found at hardware stores for $15-$20. The National Safety Council also offers test kits (short term & long term) that can ordered through the mail or phone. Start with the short term test and if the levels are high, test again with the long term to get verification.
- If your radon is high, hire a qualified radon mitigation contractor because specialized knowledge and skills are required. Check with your state radon office. Costs generally range from $1,000 to $2000.
- Re-test after the work has been completed by an independent radon tester to verify the problem has been corrected.
- EPA Guide to Radon
- Home Buyer/Seller Guide to Radon
- How to Select a Radon Contractor