2014 National Radon Poster Contest, by Joshua, 3rd place winner for New Jersey
Image by Joshua

2014 National Radon Poster Contest, by Joshua, 3rd place winner for New Jersey

A bus poster on a TCAT bus in a Radon Education campaign in Tompkins County.
Image by Sandy Repp

A bus poster on a TCAT bus in a Radon Education campaign in Tompkins County.

Radon

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Do you know what radon is? Where it is? How to test for it?

What You Need to Know About Radon

Radon is an invisible odorless gas. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon gas is found all over the world, and in every state in the U.S. Levels can vary widely, even from home to home in the same neighborhood. Radon gas becomes a health hazard when it accumulates indoors and is breathed in. The radioactive energy bursts can irritate the lung tissue and damage DNA. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking. Radon levels can be lowered, and homes can be built to be radon-resistant.

How Radon Gets Into Your Home

Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your home's foundation. When radon gas is present in the soil, your house acts like a vacuum and draws radon in through cracks and other openings.

Radon gets into your home through:

  1. Cracks in solid floors
  2. Construction joints
  3. Cracks in walls
  4. Gaps in suspended floors
  5. Gaps around service pipes
  6. Cavities inside walls
  7. Your water supply

Radon Resistant Construction

If you are planning to build a new home, talk to your builder about radon-resistant construction. Simple, built-in features are much less expensive than fixing a radon problem later.
The free EPA publication, Building Radon Out-A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Build Radon-Resistant Homes (2001), can be ordered from the EPA website.

Find a builder that uses Radon-Resistant construction techniques.

Last updated May 23, 2017