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Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon

EPA Guide to Radon p.31

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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: MYTH #1: 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, 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 #2: Radon testing devices are not reliable and are difficult to find.

FACT: Reliable radon tests are available from qualified radon testers and companies. Active radon devices can continuously gather and periodically record radon levels to reveal any unusual swings in the radon level during the test. Reliable testing devices are also available by phone or mail-order, and can be purchased in hardware stores and other retail outlets. Contact your state radon office for a list of qualified radon test companies.

MYTH #3: Radon testing is difficult and time-consuming.

FACT: Radon testing is easy. You can test your home yourself or hire a qualified radon test company. Either approach takes only a small amount of time and effort.

MYTH #4: Homes with radon problems cannot be fixed.

FACT: There are solutions to radon problems in homes. Thousands of home owners have already lowered their radon levels. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs. Contact your state radon office for a list of qualified mitigation contractors.

MYTH #5: Radon only affects certain types of homes.

FACT: Radon can be a problem in all types of homes, including 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.


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