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RADON. Basic facts

Breathing radon in your home can cause lung cancer

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil and water that can build up to dangerous levels inside any home, this is true for new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without a basement. 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.

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.

Radon gas is odorless and invisible and the only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test for it.

Radon has 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 comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all 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.

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. EPA also recommends that people think about fixing their homes for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.

You should test for radon

Testing your house for radon is easy. If your house has a radon problem, it can be fixed.

A simple test will tell you if your home has a high radon level. Most radon tests last between 2 and 7 days. It’s as easy as opening a package, and putting the test kit in the right place or calling a professional to set a test machine.

This is especially recommended during a real estate transition and NC Property Inspections can provide this service for you.

For more information about radon testing call 1-800-SOS-RADON (1-800-767-7236) or visit

You can fix a radon problem

Help is available to fix a radon problem. You can call your state radon office to find qualified radon mitigators in your area. The cost to reduce radon depends on how your home was built and how you use it. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs. In our area this runs between $1000 or $1500

New homes can be built with radon-resistant features

Building new homes with simple and cost-effective radon-resistant features can reduce radon entry.

Every home should be tested before, or soon after, you move in. Even homes built with radon-resistant construction features should be tested. If high radon levels are found, it is easier and costs less to reduce radon levels in homes that are built with radon-resistant or passive mitigation features.


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