Radioactivity symbolRadon Facts

MYTH: Scientists are not sure that radon really is a problem.

FACT: Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon, all the major health organizations (like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association) agree with estimates that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year. This is especially true among smokers, since the risk to smokers is much greater than to non-smokers.

MYTH: Radon testing devices are not reliable.

FACT: Reliable testing devices are available from qualified radon testers and companies.

MYTH: Homes with radon problems can’t be fixed.

FACT: There are simple solutions to radon problems in homes. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners have already fixed radon problems in their homes.

MYTH: Radon affects only certain kinds of homes.

FACT: House construction can affect radon levels.  However, radon can be a problem in homes of all types:  old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements, and homes without basements.  Local geology, construction materials, and how the home was built are among the factors that can affect radon levels in homes.

MYTH: Radon is only a problem in certain parts of the country.

FACT: High radon levels have been found in every state. Radon problems do vary from area to area, but the only way to know your radon level is to test.

MYTH: A neighbor’s test result is a good indication of whether your home has a problem.

FACT: It’s not. Radon levels can vary greatly from home to home. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test it.

MYTH: Everyone should test their water for radon.

FACT:  Although radon gets into some homes through water, it is important to first test the air in the home for radon. If your water comes from a public water supply that uses ground water, call your water supplier.  If high radon levels are found and the home has a private well, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1 800-426-4791 for information on testing your water.

MYTH: It’s difficult to sell homes where radon problems have been discovered.

FACT: Where radon problems have been fixed, home sales have not been blocked or frustrated. The added protection is some times a good selling point.

MYTH: I’ve lived in my home for so long, it doesn’t make sense to take action now.

FACT: You will reduce your risk of lung cancer when you reduce radon levels, even if you’ve lived with a radon problem for a long time.


  • Every building has radon and should be tested.
    Know your pCi/L radon level!
  • Test Your Home for Radon – It’s Easy and Inexpensive
    The U.S. Surgeon General and EPA recommend that all homes be tested.
  • Heed The Surgeon General’s Warning: Test Your Home
    Surgeon General's Warning
    EPA has released a Public Service media campaign for radon. The campaign features the U.S. Surgeon General’s warning that radon causes lung cancer and that you should test your home.
  • Radon:  The Health Hazard with a Simple Solution
    Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family’s health. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually.
  • Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s – Could the Cause be Radon?
    In a study conducted at the University of North Dakota, researchers discovered that the presence of radioactive radon daughters in the brains of non-smoking persons with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s decease was 10 times greater than it was in the brains of persons with no previous evidence of neurological disorders. Professor Glenn Lykken and Dr. Berislav Momcilovic assert their study demonstrates that indoor radon gas has the capacity to irreversibly infest the brain with the poisonous progeny of radioactive heavy metals.While radon is a lipid-soluble gas that can move freely in and out of the brain despite the blood-brain barrier, none of the transmuted heavy metal radon daughters are soluble in the lipids, meaning they remain trapped in the brain where they emit gamma radiation and alpha particles resulting in both radiation and chemical injury to the brain cells.
  • Exposure to Radon Causes Lung Cancer In Non-smokers and Smokers Alike
    Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year. The untimely deaths of Peter Jennings and Dana Reeve have raised public awareness about lung cancer, especially among people who have never smoked. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer. From the time of diagnosis, between 11 and 15 percent of those afflicted will live beyond five years, depending upon demographic factors. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is especially true for radon.