Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon is a publication by the Environmental Protection Agency. Used with permission under public domain and creative commons. Usage: Category Education; License: Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)
On this page: Overview - This Guide answers important questions about radon and lung cancer risk. It also answers questions about testing and fixing for anyone buying or selling a home. 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.
EPA Risk Assessment for Radon in Indoor Air. EPA has updated its estimate of the lung cancer risks from exposure to radon in indoor air. The Agency's updated risk assessment, EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003, June 2003), is available at https://www.epa.gov/radiation/epa-assessment-risks-radon-homes as a downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF file. EPA's reassessment was based on the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) report on the Health Effects of Exposure to Radon (BEIR VI, 1999). The Agency now estimates that there are about 21,000 annual radon-related lung cancer deaths, an estimate consistent with the NAS Report's findings.
You Should Test for Radon. Testing is the only way to find out your home's radon levels. 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 fix a radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels. If You Are Selling a Home, 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.