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Radon Is a Cancer-Causing, Radioactive Gas
You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. But it still may be a problem
in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase
your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of
the United States has warned that radon is the second
leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If
you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung
cancer is especially high.
You Should Test for Radon
Testing is the only way to find out your home's radon levels. EPA
and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the
third floor for radon.
You Can Fix a Radon Problem
If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix a
radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable
If You Are Selling a Home...
EPA recommends that you test your home before putting it on the
market and, if necessary, lower your radon levels. Save the test
results and all information you have about steps that were taken to
fix any problems. This could be a positive selling point.
If You Are Buying a Home...
EPA recommends that you know what the indoor radon level is in any
home you consider buying. Ask the seller for their radon test results.
If the home has a radon-reduction system, ask the seller for
information they have about the system.
If the home has not yet been tested, you should have the housed
If you are having a new home built, there are features that can be
incorporated into your home during construction to reduce radon
The radon testing guidelines in this Guide have been developed
specifically to deal with the time-sensitive nature of home purchases
and sales, and the potential for radon device interference. These
guidelines are slightly different from the guidelines in other EPA
publications which provide radon testing and reduction information for
non-real estate situations.
This Guide recommends three short-term testing options for real
estate transactions. EPA also recommends testing a home in the
lowest level which is currently suitable for occupancy, since a buyer
may choose to live in a lower area of the home than that used by the
Based on information
contained in the National
Academy of Sciences
report, The Health
Effects of Exposure to
Indoor Radon, radon is
estimated to cause
between 15,000 and
22,000 lung cancer
deaths per year. Data
on (non-radon) causes of
death are from Injury
Facts, 1999 Edition,
National Safety Council,
pressure during a
rain storm affected
radon in a 74 hour
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Newsletters to read
covering a variety
of radon topics.