About Radon

Radon Gas

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, radioactive soil gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. In the United States, an estimated 22,000 people die of radon induced lung cancer annually. One person dies of radon induced lung cancer every 24 minutes. Many of these deaths can be prevented by conducting a simple test and then taking action to reduce elevated radon levels when found. County-level radon test data, including mean radon levels, number of test above or below the EPA action level, and maximum radon level measured, are available from CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Program. Radon risk data and prevention policy can be viewed by state at the Radon Report Card.

Taking action to reduce radon levels in a home with elevated radon levels result in a communal health risk reduction. With the decreased exposure, everyone living in the home has a decreased risk of contracting radon-induced lung cancer.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is defined as cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells lining air passages. The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2013, there will be 228,190 new lung cancer cases and 159, 480 lung cancer deaths.

Lung cancer has a very low five year survival rate. According to the American Lung Association, the lung cancer five-year survival rate (16.3%) is lower than many other leading cancer sites, such as the colon (65.2%), breast (90.0%) and prostate (99.9%). Over half of people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed.

For anyone recently diagnosed with lung cancer, the National Cancer Institute has a booklet which answers many questions and assists with treatment questions at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/lung.

The American Lung Association has a great deal of information regarding lung cancer at http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/.

The National Cancer Institute also has information regarding radon and lung cancer.

Q & A

What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring odorless and colorless gas and is a Group A carcinogen. According to the US EPA it is estimated to cause 21,000 annual, lung cancer related deaths, and many of these are non-smoking or never smoking cases.

Can radon exposure be prevented?
No, but its presence in single family homes, multi-family dwellings, offices, schools and other public places can be “re-routed” through a radon mitigation system so that people are not exposed to these harmful gasses and keep their lungs healthy.

How do you know if you have radon in your home?
Homes can be tested for radon.  There are professionals all over the US who are trained and certified to test homes.  The test results will tell you the measurement of radon in the air you breathe and whether it falls within acceptable levels.  With knowledge of the radon in your home, you have the option to fix it.

Are there laws about testing preventing or controlling radon in homes?   
Some states have laws pertaining to disclosure of known radon levels in a home. Other states require the seller of a home to present the buyer with information regarding radon and advising the buyer that they have the right to test the home for elevated radon levels. Other states require radon control features in new construction or radon testing in schools or child care facilities.

Can radon gas really injure me or my family? 
World wide studies show that radon is known to cause lung cancer in human beings. This is a health risk that can be managed by conducting a simple test and taking action to reduce elevated radon levels.