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Radon in the Home:
In What Areas and Regions is Radon the Greatest Concern?


Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that comes from the earth's soil and rocks. Specifically, when uranium in the earth's crust decays, it produces radium, which in turn produces radon.

radon basement

Radon levels tend to be highest in basements, since they're closest to the soil and rock.

This odorless and colorless gas naturally percolates through porous soils where it enters the air. Outdoors, radon generally is not much of a problem because it rapidly dissipates. Indoors, however, is another story.

Radon gas can enter your home through:

  • Gaps and cracks in your foundation or insulation

  • Pipes

  • Sumps and drains

  • Walls

  • Other openings

Radon can even be emitted from some home building materials such as the stone used to build fireplaces or solar heating storage systems.

Once in, the gas accumulates in your home's indoor air. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States has radon levels at or above the EPA's recommended safety level (which is four picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L)).

Radon's Health Risks

Over time, sometimes many years, breathing in radon gas can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer. This happens because the radioactive radon particles get trapped in your lungs and break down further, releasing bursts of energy that can lead to cancer.

Radon is actually the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States (smoking is first), according to the Surgeon General, and it's thought to be responsible for 21,000 deaths every year, according to the EPA.

radon levels

Today many homes are built to prevent radon from coming in, but before you purchase any home, make sure it's been tested for radon.

Radon poses such a great threat because it cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. In other words, there is no way to know, using your five senses, that radon is leaking into your home.

Which U.S. Regions are Most at Risk?

Because radon is emitted from the soil, it's generally highest in the basements of buildings. However, certain regions naturally have higher levels of radium in the soil, and therefore have the potential to emit higher levels of radon.

The EPA has put together a map of radon levels in the United States (see image below), showing where levels are likely to be highest. Zone 1 regions have the highest potential for radon, followed by zone 2 and zone 3. You can also enter your state to find out which zone your county is in.

EPA Map of Radon Zones

According to the American Cancer Society:

"The mid-Atlantic states stretching from New York through Pennsylvania to Maryland and Virginia, as well as a broad stretch of the upper Midwest, has geological formations that yield higher radon levels. In contrast, radon levels are low in the Southeast as far west as Texas and along much of the West coast."

Testing Your Home for Radon is Simple: Get Peace of Mind and Protect Your Family

One out of every 15 homes has elevated radon levels that are the #2 cause of lung cancer in the United States. The EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that every home get tested below the third floor. Testing is the ONLY way to determine if radon is in your home because it can't be smelled, tasted or seen!

Testing your home's air for this poisonous gas is easy with the Do-It-Yourself Home Radon Test Kit:

  • Incredibly Simple to Use
  • The U.S.'s top-rated & most trusted home kit
  • VERY economical--Just $9.95 each!
  • Contains everything for a 3-7 day radon test
  • Perform simple test and mail it in ... you'll then be able to access your home's results online!

Read More & Order the EPA-Recommended Home Test Kit Now

Yet, regardless of where you live, it's still recommended that you test the radon levels in your home, as elevated radon levels have been found in almost every state.

Testing Your Home for Radon is Essential … and Easy

The only way to find out if your home has unsafe levels of radon is with a radon test. That's why the EPA and the Surgeon General recommend that all homes be tested for radon below the third floor (schools should also be tested).

The EPA-recommended Home Radon Test Kit that we offer on is an extremely easy, do-it-yourself kit that allows you to accurately test for radon in your home in just three to seven days.

Radon May Also be in Your Drinking Water

Although the risk of radon in your home's air is most significant, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that radon in household water causes 30 to 1,800 deaths every year.

Because radon does evaporate readily into the air, surface waters, such as those from lakes and rivers, are less likely to contain high levels of the substance.

However, groundwater, which is used in wells, has not been exposed to much air, and therefore may contain much higher levels of radon. Wells filled by ground water supply about half the drinking water in the United States, and if this applies to your water supply, you can easily test your water with our top-recommended Radon-in-Water Test Kit. It includes everything you need to determine your drinking water's safety.

Keep in mind that radon could be in your home right now and you would never know it. Fortunately, radon tests are inexpensive and an essential way to give you peace of mind that your home's air and water are safe.

If you find that your home has unsafe levels, you should take action immediately by hiring an experienced radon contractor to make the necessary repairs -- the EPA says prices to reduce radon range from $800 to $2,500 per home.

If you would like to know more about radon in your home's air or drinking water, please read Radon Essentials: What You Need to Know About Radon.

Recommended Reading

The Six Silent Killers in Your Home: How to Detect and Eliminate Them

Radon's Real Risk: 1 in 15 Homes Polluted with this #2 Cause of Lung Cancer, but Most Don't Know It!


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Radon

American Cancer Society: Radon

American Lung Association: Radon

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