Home » Advocacy » Do you have the 2nd biggest cause of #lungcancer in your home?

Do you have the 2nd biggest cause of #lungcancer in your home?

Radon Zones by State (image credit: US EPA)

Many people might not aware the second leading cause of lung cancer could be in their home.  Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible gas that’s odorless and tasteless.  It’s created deep underground when uranium decays, and rises to the surface where it can enter homes, often through the basement.

Some areas of the USA have higher exposure to radon than others because of the type of underlying bedrock. The US EPA offers an interactive map with information on which areas of the USA tend to have the highest incidence of radon gas in homes (you can see a snapshot at the top of this page). The map is only a guide, however.  You can live in an area that shows a low risk of radon and still have high radon levels in your home.

Testing your home is the best way to tell if radon gas is present. Testing for radon is cheap and easy. Consumer Reports has reviewed radon testing kits so you can find the best testing option for you. If you’re buying a home, ask if it has been tested for radon.

If you find radon is in your home, it’s relatively easy to install inexpensive measures to reduce the concentration of radon in the air and make your home safer. The US EPA Radon website has many resources for doing this.

Take steps to avoid lung cancer, which kills over 400 people daily in the USA. Test your home for radon. If you find some, fix it.

5 thoughts on “Do you have the 2nd biggest cause of #lungcancer in your home?

  1. FWIW, been there, done that. Always had any home purchases tested. And my current home had radon levels below USA maximums but above European standards, so as an extra precaution I added a remediation system and sealed my basement floor to cut the risk in half.

    Best hopes,

    Craig in PA


    • Judy, FWIW I used to live in an upstairs condo — garage at bottom & another condo on the first floor, then my condo above that. The radon level in my home was essentially zero, which makes sense because there was no furnace in the “basement” (garage) level sucking & pushing radon-containing air up, and any air in the garage could easily escape through gaps.

      But I can also say an apartment building I once lived in had leaks that allow airflow to come up from the basement (where painting was done) through the first level of apartments and up into mine above that — basically my in-apartment furnace/AC created suction that pulled fumes all the way up the walls.

      So the only way to be sure is to actually do the radon test, either buying a kit that you send off to a lab or a more expensive electronic sensor version. It is a lot cheaper and easier than cancer.

      Best hopes,

      Craig in PA


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