US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

EPA recognizes national radon action month: test for radon gas to protect health

21,000 Americans die from radon related lung cancer each year

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging Americans this January, as part of National Radon Action Month, to take simple and affordable steps to test their homes for harmful levels of radon gas. Radon, a colorless odorless gas, is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon can seep into a home from underground and if left to accumulate, high levels of radon can cause lung cancer. Improving indoor air quality by increasing awareness of environmental health risks, such as radon gas, supports healthier homes and communities.

“Testing for radon is an easy and important step in protecting the health of your family,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “Radon can be found in every single state. Nationally, elevated radon levels are in as many as one in 15 homes – a statistic that is even higher in some communities.”

Approximately 21,000 people die from radon related lung cancer each year in the United States, yet elevated levels of this health hazard can be prevented through these simple steps:
· Test: EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes, both with and without basements, be tested for radon. Affordable Do-It-Yourself radon test kits are available at home improvement and hardware stores and online or a qualified radon tester can be hired.
· Fix: EPA recommends taking action to fix radon levels above 4 Picocuries per Liter (pCi/L). Addressing high radon levels often costs the same as other minor home repairs.
· Save a Life: By testing and fixing for elevated levels of radon in your home, you can help prevent lung cancer while creating a healthier home and community.

Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It can enter homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings such as holes or pipes. In addition to testing for radon, there now are safer and healthier radon-resistant construction techniques that home buyers can discuss with builders to prevent this health hazard.

In 2011, EPA announced the Federal Radon Action Plan, along with General Services Administration and the Departments of Agriculture; Defense; Energy; Health and Human Services; Housing and Urban Development; Interior; and Veterans Affairs. This action plan will demonstrate the importance of radon risk reduction, address finance and incentive issues to drive testing and mitigation, and build demand for services from industry professionals.

More information on how to Test, Fix, Save a Life, obtain a text kit, or contact your state radon office: or call 1-800-SOS-RADON

More information on the Federal Radon Action Plan:

Customer comments

  1. By Parthasarathy KS on

    Radon measurement and remediation appear to be one of the most well organized EPA programmes in USA. If a fingerprint for radon-induced lung cancer is found out, the programme will get wider support. It is a complex issue. The progress in identifying radiation induced thyroid cancer is an instance in point. More fundamental radiobiological study at molecular and gene level may be revealing. In the meanwhile effort to educate the people should continue K S Parthasarathy Ph.D

  2. By George Hopkins on

    Radon is an easy fix, the issue is knowledge. We find rates as high as 56(pCi/L) (CA. Environmental Assessor providing health and safety services for the wealthy) in the majority of our clients homes & retreats every winter. In 99% of the cases, the clients eyes glaze over when attempting to explain the issue. Only 25% of individuals taking the radon tests pass, that is why we started "EnvirOmedics" where 100% pass our tests. I also attended medical college and as a scientist received a patent to deliver bio active agents to disease vectors, with that said the missing links are electron charges that build up & transfer negative effects. Thyroid issues are simple to understand when one realizes iodine transfers in an ecosystem of 6.4-6.6 pH. No/poor transfer equals no or poor working thyroid? It appears that science goes for a magic cure, by passing the basic principles of science to observe nature, cleanse, balance & rebuild the ecosystem and most issues disappear on their own. No worries..Bless, GiGreen