Education

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.

You can’t see radon. And you can’t smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home.

Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

The University of Toledo has compiled a list of tested zip codes in the state of Ohio. Once you click on the link below, you can either scroll through the page or type Ctrl+F on your keyboard, and simply type your zip code.

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A Citizen’s Guide to Radon

You can download a PDF of “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon, published by the EPA. This information is available to the general public as a service to help you understand radon and its dangers.

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Home Buyers and Sellers Guide to Radon

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.

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Breath of Hope Ohio

The mission of Breath of Hope Ohio “is to bring hope to the men and women diagnosed with lung cancer every day and raise funds to support the innovative research necessary for a cure.”

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Reducing the Risk from Radon

RadonLeaders.org has compiled a significant amount of information on radon dangers and mitigation. The document below is a printable PDF about how to reduce your risk.

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Public Health Impact

More recent direct estimates of the risk posed by radon, obtained from residential case-control studies performed globally, closely align with the 2003 EPA risk estimates. When compared to cancer mortality from all causes, radon-related lung cancer, if it were treated as a distinct disease category, would rank among the top 10 causes of
cancer mortality and is considered a leading environmental cause of cancer mortality in the United States.

Radon and Smoking

The combined health effects of radon and tobacco exposure are synergistic, so reducing either of the exposures substantially reduces lung cancer risk.

Because approximately 37 percent of U.S. adults have smoked at some time in their life, reducing radon exposure in this segment of the population—even if smoking cessation occurs later in life—can reduce the risk of lung cancer considerably.

Health Risks if You Haven’t Smoked

In addition to educating patients who are current or former smokers, a rigorous radon education effort is needed for patients who have never smoked tobacco products.

It is noteworthy that lung cancer in “never smokers” is in the top 10 causes of cancer mortality in the United States. Protracted radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in individuals who have never smoked.

Radon Testing

Because of the serious health risk posed by radon, EPA recommends that all homes be tested for radon. Homeowners should take steps to lower radon levels indoors when levels are at or above EPA’s radon action level of 4 pCi/L. However, because any radon exposure carries some risk, significant lung cancer risk reduction can be achieved by reducing radon concentrations to less than 2 pCi/L.

Radon Reduction

Radon reduction systems can be installed in homes with or without basements, as well as in homes with crawlspaces. Methods to reduce radon in homes are discussed in EPA’s Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction (see links at www.epa.gov/radon).