What is Radon and why test for it?

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. 

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States.  It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water, and gets into the air you breathe.  Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above, and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation.  Radon can also enter your home through well water.  Your home can trap radon inside. 

Any home can have a radon problem, including new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.  In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home.

 

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.  

The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend that you test your home.

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 cannot predict radon levels based on

state, local, or neighborhood radon measurements.  Do not rely on radon test results

taken in other homes in the neighborhood 

You can fix a radon 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.