Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I get a radon test kit, Are they free?
A: Do-it yourself radon test kits are available from several sources. Free test kits are sometimes available from local or county health departments, or from state radon programs and may also be available at some home improvement stores.

Q: How does radon get into your home?
A: Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all rocks and soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

Q: What is the average level of radon found in homes in the U.S.?
A: Based on a national residential radon survey completed in 1991, the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) in the United States. The average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L.

Q: How can you find a qualified radon service provider in your area?
A: If you are interested in finding a qualified radon service professional to test or mitigate your home, or you need to purchase or have questions about a radon measurement device, you should:

Contact your State Radon Contact, go to www.epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html and click on your state to get contact information. Some States maintain lists of contractors available in their state or they have proficiency programs or requirements of their own.

Contact one or both of the two privately-run National Radon Proficiency Programs listed below.

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
National Radon Proficiency Program
Toll Free: (800) 269-4174 or (828) 890-4117
Fax: (828) 890-4161
Website: www.neha-nrpp.org/
E-Mail Address: angel@neha-nrpp.org

The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)
Toll Free: (866) 329-3474
Fax: (914) 345-1169
WebSite: www.nrsb.org
E-mail Address: info@NRSB.org

Q: What are the health effects from exposure to radon?
A: There are no immediate symptoms from exposures to radon. Based on an updated Assessment of Risk for Radon in Homes epa.gov/radon/risk_assessment.html, radon in indoor air is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. Smokers are at higher risk of developing Radon-induced lung cancer. Lung cancer is the only health effect which has been definitively linked with radon exposure. Lung cancer would usually occur years (5-25) after exposure. There is no evidence that other respiratory diseases, such as asthma, are caused by radon exposure and there is no evidence that children are at any greater risk of radon induced lung cancer than adults.

Q: What is the debate on radon?
A: There is no debate about radon being a lung carcinogen in humans. All major national and international organizations that have examined the health risks of radon agree that it is a lung carcinogen. The scientific community continues to conduct research to refine our understanding of the precise number of deaths attributable to radon.

Q: How do I know if my radon mitigation system is working properly?
A: There are several methods that a contractor can use to lower radon levels in your home. Some techniques prevent radon from entering your home while others reduce radon levels after it has entered. EPA generally recommends methods which prevent the entry of radon. Soil suction, for example, prevents radon from entering your home by drawing the radon from below the house and venting it through a pipe, or pipes, to the air above the house where it is quickly diluted.

FAQ Source: http://www.epa.gov

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