Health Risk of Radon
Breathing radon can increase your risk of lung cancer. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among people who do not smoke. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer for people who do. The EPA estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 deaths from lung cancer each year in the U.S. If you smoke and your home has a high radon level, your risk of lung cancer can increase even more.
What is it?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil and water that can build up to dangerous levels inside any home; this means new and old homes, well sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without a basement. Radon gas is odorless and invisible and the only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test for it.
Homes with high levels of radon have been found in every state. In fact, radon levels can vary greatly from home to home--even levels next door can be very different. Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), a measurement of radioactivity. In the United States, the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L. The average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L. The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend fixing homes with radon levels at or above 4 pCi/L. The EPA also recommends that people think about fixing their homes for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.
Should I Obtain a Radon Test?
If you are a homeowner (not purchasing a new home), you can obtain a reliable and relatively inexpensive Radon test kit from your local home improvement store.
If you are in the process of purchasing or selling a home and would like an unbiased, third-party assessment, Firstline Inspections provides radon testing for real estate transactions in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. We utilize specialized equipment to give you an accurate measurement of the radon concentration levels in the home you are considering purchasing (or selling). If the radon measurement is greater than 4 picocuries per liter, it will be recommended that you contact a qualified radon mitigation expert.
EPA Zone 1 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L (Highest Potential)
EPA Zone 2 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level between 2 and 4 pCi/L (Moderate Potential)
EPA Zone 3 counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L (Lowest Potential)