Radon Gas Testing

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.                                                                      iac2-radon-logo

You cannot see, smell or taste radon. But it still may be a problem in your home.  When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer.  In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today.  If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

U.S. Surgeon General’s
Health Advisory

“Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country.  It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable.  Radon can be detected with a simple test, and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”
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The EPA recommends:

  • If you are buying a home or selling your home, have it tested for radon.
  • For a new home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used and if the home has been tested.
  • Fix the home if the radon level is 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
  • Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases, may be reduced.
  • Take steps to prevent device interference when conducting a radon test.

The EPA estimates that radon causes thousands of cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.

 * Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year.

The numbers of deaths from other causes are taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 1999-2001 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Report and 2002 National Safety Council Reports.

You should test for radon gas.

Testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.

You can fix a radon gas problem.

If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix a radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.

If You Are Selling a Home…

The EPA recommends that you test your home before putting it on the market and, if necessary, lower your radon levels. Save the test results and all information you have about steps that were taken to fix any problems. This could be a positive selling point.

If You Are Buying a Home…

The EPA recommends that you know what the indoor radon level is in any home you are considering buying.  Ask the seller for their radon test results.  If the home has a radon-reduction system, ask the seller for information they have about the system.

Interpreting radon gas test results

The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L; roughly 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels. While this goal is not yet technologically achievable for all homes, radon levels in many homes can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.

Your radon measurement will give you an idea of your risk of getting lung cancer from radon. Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon depend mostly on:

  • your home’s radon level;
  • the amount of time you spend in your home; and
  • whether you are a smoker or have ever smoked.

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