What is radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring colorless, odorless gas that results from the natural breakdown of uranium in rock and soil within the earth. It migrates from the ground through the lowest level in a building.
What are sources of radon?
As this gas moves up from the ground, it can find its way into homes through small openings and can build up inside the home.
Many things contribute to a home’s radon levels, including characteristics of the home itself. As a result, radon is very site specific. Just because your neighbor doesn’t have radon in their home will not guarantee that you don’t have radon in yours!
Who is at risk for radon exposure?
Elevated radon levels in homes are common in colder climates where homes are sealed against the weather and kept closed for much of the year. Of the tests conducted in Kent County homes during recent years, one in every seven (16%) have come back elevated. Several studies have demonstrated that children are more susceptible to radon exposure than adults.
What are health impacts of radon exposure?
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, resulting in approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancer. Please see the Radon and Cancer Fact Sheet from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, for more information on radon exposure.
What are solutions to combat radon exposure?
Testing your home for radon is very simple with a do-it-yourself test kit. The EPA has provided resources on where to purchase radon testing kits. The negative effects from radon are 100% preventable. Test your home. If your home has elevated levels of radon, get it fixed as soon as possible. The average cost of fixing a radon problem in the U.S. is $1,200. Low-income families may qualify for assistance with radon mitigation.
How can I reduce the amount of radon gas present in my home?
The most common way of reducing radon entering your home is through a vent pipe system and fan. The system pulls the radon from under the house and vents it to the outside through a pipe to the air above the home. The system works more efficiently and effectively if cracks are sealed in the foundation and other places. See the EPA’s Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction for detailed information on radon reduction (also called “mitigation”) systems.
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