Radon Frequently Asked Questions
What is radon?
is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soils, rock, and water throughout the U.S. Radon causes lung cancer, and
is a threat to health because it tends to collect in homes, sometimes to very high concentrations.
can radon affect people's health?
Almost all risk from radon comes from breathing air with radon and
its decay products. Radon decay products cause lung cancer.
There is no safe level of radon -- any exposure poses
some risk of cancer. In two 1999 reports, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) concluded after an exhaustive review that
radon in indoor air is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after cigarette smoking. The NAS estimated that
15,000-22,000 Americans die every year from radon-related lung cancer.
How do I know
if there is radon in my home?
You cannot see, feel, smell, or taste radon. Testing your home is the
only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing for radon in
all rooms below the third floor.
Radon testing can be performed by calling EnviroSpect Northwest. The
test is non-invasive and requires leaving the test canisters in your home for 48 hours. Results are usually returned
to you within 48 hours after completion of the testing.
Give us a call.
What can I do to protect myself and my family from radon?
The first step is to test your
home for radon, and have it fixed if it is at or above EPA's Action Level of 4 picocuries per liter. You may want to take
action if the levels are in the range of 2-4 picocuries per liter. Generally, levels can be brought below 2 pCi/l fairly simply.
The best method for reducing radon in your home will depend on how radon enters your home and the design of your home.
For example, sealing cracks in floors and walls may help to reduce radon. There are also systems that remove radon from the
crawl space or from beneath the concrete floor or basement slab that are effective at keeping radon from entering your home.
These systems are simple and don't require major changes to your home. Other methods may be necessary.
have private wells should test their well water to ensure that radon levels meet EPA's newly proposed standard.
more information, read the EPA's A Citizen's Guide to Radon.
The above information is provided as a public service by the Environmental Protection Agency for educational purposes.