- Test your home for radon — it’s easy and inexpensive
- Fix your home if your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher
- Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced
- Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas
You can’t see radon. You can’t smell it or taste it. 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 United States.
Radon comes from the natural, radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can get into any type of building (e.g., homes, offices, schools) and result in a high indoor radon level. You and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home. That’s 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. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon.
You can fix a radon problem
There are simple ways to fix a radon problem that aren’t too costly. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.
New homes can be built with radon-resistant features
Radon-resistant construction techniques can be effective in preventing radon entry. When installed properly and completely, these techniques can help reduce indoor radon levels in homes. Installing them at the time of construction makes it easier and less expensive to reduce radon levels further if these passive techniques don’t reduce radon levels to below 4pCi/L. Every new home should be tested after occupancy, even if it was built radon-resistant.
Pennsylvania law requires that all third-party persons performing radon testing, mitigation or laboratory analysis in Pennsylvania be certified.
An exemption to this law allows the homeowner or occupant to test his/her own home without being certified. Test kits may be purchased from
a Pennsylvania certified laboratory or a local home center or hardware store. The homeowner or occupant should verify that analysis of that device is performed by a Pennsylvania certified laboratory.