The carcinogen you didn't choose

27 September 2018

Radon is the second leading cause of cancer, behind only cigarettes. It causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year.Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. That’s according to the National Academy of Science and the EPA, both pretty credible sources if you ask me.[1]

The Center for Disease Control (CDC), the surgeon general, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association all encourage radon testing in homes, and say that if levels get too high you really need to act.[2]

So if all these experts agree that radon is extremely dangerous, and we need to do something about it, why don’t we ever hear about radon and radon testing?

I guess the more important question is “what am I supposed to do about it?”

Before we get there, let’s go over the very basics about radon, what it is, how it gets in your home, and then we’ll get into tests and remediation.

  • What is radon? Radon is a naturally occurring gas. It is radioactive, odorless, and invisible.
  • Why is radon exposure dangerous? Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
  • How does radon get into my house? Radon gets pulled into your home from the ground due to pressure differences. Common places for it to come through are cracks in the foundation, well water, or exposed soil.
  • How common is it for homes to have too much radon? Estimates put it at 1 out of 15 homes.[3] What’s that mean? Walk outside your door and look down the block. One of them is in danger.
    • More aggressive reports say that as many as 1 in 3 homes that were tested had too much radon.[4]
  • How do I test my home for radon? Order a radon test kit, either short-term or long-term. The test is a simple DIY.
    • *We’ve had some clients explain that there is no such thing as a DIY project in their home. If that’s your situation, there are professional services that can come out and test for radon for you.
  • How much does a radon test cost? A short-term radon test can cost as little as $25. Fixing the radon problem in your home can range from $500 to $2,500.
  • How do I fix a radon problem in my home? Truthfully, I’d recommend that you bring in a professional for this. If you are extremely handy, there are steps you can take to DIY, but this is a serious enough issue that I would leave it to a pro.
    • *We don’t do radon remediation, but if you need help figuring out who to go to, we’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
  • Is there a way to prevent radon from getting in my home? Building your home to the Indoor airPLUS standards will help keep you safe from a host of things to include radon and mold.


[1] https://www.epa.gov/indoorairplus/benefits-and-features-indoor-airplus-homes

[2] https://iaq.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/212104507-Are-we-sure-that-radon-is-a-health-risk-

[3] http://www.radontestinglab.com/enterhome.asp

[4] https://www.radon.com/radon_facts/