- Test your home for radon — it’s easy and inexpensive.
- Fix your home if your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter, or pCi/L, or higher.
- Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced.
|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, according to EPA’s 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003). The numbers of deaths from other causes are taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2005-2006 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Report and 2006 National Safety Council Reports.
Indoor Environments Division (6609J)
EPA 402-K-09-001, January 2009
How to Order Publications
You can order Indoor Air Quality publications from EPA’s National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP)
P.O. Box 42419,
Cincinnati, OH 45242-0419
Phone: 1-800-490-9198 (M-F from 9:30-5:30 eastern)
Fax: (301) 604-3408
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.
You can’t see radon. And you can’t smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home.
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 can be found all over the U.S.
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 result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, 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. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. 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 (see How to Test Your Home).