Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell or taste radon. But it still may be a problem in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
You should test for radon.
Testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.
You can fix a radon problem.
If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to mitigate the problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.
Are You Selling Your Home?
The EPA recommends that you test your home before putting it on the market and, if necessary, lower your radon levels. Save the test results and all information you have about steps that were taken to fix any problems. This could be a positive selling point.
Are You Buying a Home?
The EPA recommends that you know what the indoor radon level is in any home you are considering buying. Ask the seller for their radon test results. If the home has a radon-reduction system, ask the seller for information they have about the system.
If the home has not yet been tested, you should have the house tested for radon.
If you are having a new home built, there are features that can be incorporated into your home during construction to reduce radon levels.
These radon testing guidelines have been developed specifically to deal with the time-sensitive nature of real estate transactions. These guidelines are slightly different from the guidelines in other EPA publications which provide radon testing and reduction information for non-real estate transactions.
This guide recommends three short-term testing options for real estate transactions. The EPA also recommends testing a home in the lowest level which is currently suitable for occupancy, since a buyer may choose to live in a lower area of the home than that used by the seller.
- Click here to view the EPA Citizen’s Guide to Radon
- Click here to download the EPA Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon
- Other Household and Environmental Hazards