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Radon Overview of the United States
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Frequently Asked Questions

Radon comes from uranium, a radioactive metal that has decayed over billions of years and turns into another solid element called radium. Radium is about a million times more radioactive than uranium, making it a very dangerous element. The radium then continues the decay process and turns into a gas, called radon over the next several hundred to a couple of thousand years. Radon seeps through the soil and enters the home through small cracks, holes, or voids in basement slabs, crawl spaces, and slabs on grade. Homes act as a vacuum, sucking these gasses from the soil and up through the main and upper living areas where they are then breathed in. 

Radon is dangerous when individuals are exposed to high levels over a prolonged period.

Yes. Radon is known to cause lung cancer and stomach cancer. 

Radon exposure is responsible for approximately 20,000 deaths per year in the United States. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon in water is the second leading cause of radon-related cancer, responsible for approximately 168 cancer deaths per year in the United States. It’s estimated that 89% of these deaths are due to lung cancer and 11% from stomach cancer. Cancer due to radon in water is most often due to individuals breathing in water particles (steam) in the shower or other airborne sources. There is no evidence that percutaneous absorption causes any negative health effects.

The International Radon Association recommends mitigating buildings when the indoor radon level average is 2.7 pCi/L or greater, as recommended by the World Health Organization. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends considering mitigation when levels are between 2.0 pCi/L and 4.0 pCi/L, but has a set action level of 4.0 pCi/L. While no amount of radon exposure is considered “safe,” maintaining indoor radon levels that are below these action levels greatly reduce the chance of developing radon-related cancers.

The International Radon Association recommends mitigating buildings when the indoor radon level average is 2.7 pCi/L or greater, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

We recommend you consult further with a business member of the International Radon Association.

Visit our Find a Radon Pro page to find a radon professional in your area. Our expansive network of radon professionals cannot be matched anywhere.

Radon mitigation is completed in a manner which should not do any damage to any of the systems of your home. There could be cosmetic effects, but they are usually minimal. Radon mitigation professionals have numerous ways of making radon mitigation systems blend in and not negatively affect the look of your home.

Yes, radon is everywhere. However, the levels will vary by region. Visit this page to view radon maps for your area.