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Radon is a naturally occurring gas caused by the breakdown of uranium and radium-containing rock deposits in the earth's crust. Chronic exposure to radon can cause or contribute to lung cancer.

EPA studies show that people who are exposed to radon have higher incidences of lung cancer. There is also some evidence that radon in water may increase the incidence of stomach cancer.

Why Do You Need to Test for Radon?

Radon Has Been Found In Homes All Over the U.S.

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe.

Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon can also enter your home through well water. 

Your home can trap radon inside.

Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.

Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). 

Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in your state. Contact your state radon office for information about radon in your area.

EPA and the Surgeon General Recommend That You Test Your Home

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.

You cannot predict radon levels based on state, local, and neighborhood radon measurements. 

Do not rely on radon test results taken in other homes in the neighborhood to estimate the radon level in your home. 

Homes which are next to each other can have different radon levels.  Testing is the only way to find out what your home's radon level is.

In some areas, companies may offer different types of radon service agreements.  Some agreements let you pay a one-time fee that covers both testing and radon mitigation, if needed. 

Contact your state radon office to find out if these are available in your state.

U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory

"Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. 

It's important to know that this threat is completely preventable. 
Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques." 
January 2005

Where does radon in my water come from?

As water moves through the ground, radon gas can be carried in the water to your tap.

When well water is agitated at warm temperatures in the home, radon is released into the air.

When you shower, bathe or simply run the tap, the radon in the water is liberated into the air, forming radon gas that can be inhaled in.

According to the EPA, radon levels in ground water are highest in New England and the Virginia Appalachian uplands of the Mid-Atlantic and Southern States.

Certain areas around the Rocky Mountains, California, Texas and the upper Midwest also have elevated levels of radon in the ground water.

These areas are most likely to have elevated radon in water levels, but radon in water can occur anywhere in the US.

If I have radon in my water, what should I do?

Simple aeration removes up to 99% of radon from water.

Radon is rarely a problem in public systems because the water is aerated during water treatment.

Unfortunately, this does not occur in water being drawn from a private well. Aeration treatment equipment aerates the water, then vents the gas to the outside.

This treatment option requires that the gas be vented above the roof line, otherwise the gas may enter the home.

Another option is granular activated carbon filtration. In this type of treatment, the water is filtered through carbon which adsorbs the radon.

This type of filter requires relatively large amounts of carbon and a long contact time to be efficient.

The carbon from a radon filtration system may have to be handled specially for disposal since the potential build up of radioactivity can make it hazardous.

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