Radon is a naturally occurring cancer-causing, radioactive gas you can’t see, smell or taste.
Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe.
Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building – homes, offices, and schools – and build up to high levels. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home. That’s where you spend most of your time.
You should test for radon.
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. The EPA also recommends testing in schools.
Testing is inexpensive and easy – it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon.
High radon levels can be reduced.
The EPA recommends that you take action to reduce your home’s indoor radon levels if your radon test result is 4 pCi/L or higher. It is preferable to correct a radon problem before placing your home on the market because then you have more time to address a radon problem. If elevated levels are found during the real estate transaction, the buyer and seller should discuss the timing and costs of the radon reduction, as with any other aspect of the home purchase and sale.