WHAT IS RADON?
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas.
You cannot see, smell or taste radon, but it may be
a problem in your home. The Surgeon General has
warned that radon is the second leading cause
of lung cancer in the United States today. Some
scientific studies of radon exposure indicate that
children may be more sensitive to radon due to their
higher respiration rate and their rapidly diving cells,
making them more vulnerable to radiation damage.
Radon is not produced as a commercial product.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and
comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive
decay) of uranium. It is usually found in igneous rock
The primary route of potential human exposure to
radon is inhalation. Radon in the ground or building
materials enters working and living spaces and
disintegrates into its decay products.
A SAFE LEVEL OF GAS IS NO RADON GAS...
The average person receives a higher dose of radiation
from the radon levels in their home than from their
combined exposure to all other radiation sources, natural
or man-made. Depending on your geographic location,
the radon levels of the air you breathe outside of your
home may be as high as 0.75 pCi/L. The national average
of outside radon levels is 0.4pCi/L and it is estimated by
the National Academy of Sciences that outdoor radon
levels cause approximately 800 of the 21,000 radon
induced lung cancer deaths in the US each year.
WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF RADON GAS?
Radon Act 51 passed by Congress set the natural outdoor
level of radon gas (0.4pCi/L0 as the target radon level
for indoor radon levels. Unfortunately two-thirds of all
homes exceed this level. The US EPA was tasked with
setting practical guidelines and recommendations for
the nation. To this end, the US EPA has set an action
level of 4 pCi/L. At or above this level of radon, the EPA
recommends you take corrective measures to reduce
your exposure to radon gas.
SHOULD I TEST FOR RADON?
Testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels. There are no immediate symptoms that will alert you
to the presence of radon. It typically takes years of exposure before any problems surface. The US EPA, Surgeon
General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association and National Safety Council recommend testing
your home for radon because testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels.