Radon is a gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. Radon forms naturally when uranium, radium and thorium break down in rocks, soil and groundwater. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes through cracks and gaps in buildings and homes.
Radon is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
You can take steps to reduce high radon levels in your home. Testing your home is the only effective way to find out if you have a radon problem.
Exposure to elevated levels of radon over the course of your lifetime increases your risk of developing lung cancer. The surgeon general has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is also the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
This map shows the geometric mean of indoor radon levels from tests in counties across Ohio. The EPA radon action level is 4pCi/l or higher. Radon is present throughout Ohio, there are homes in every county that exceed the radon action level of 4.0pCi/l, the only way to know your home's level is to test. Data source Ohio Department of Health
How to Get a Radon Test Kit
To get an easy‐to‐use radon test kit you can:
- Ohio homeowners may qualify for a free radon kit through the Ohio Department of Health
- Buy a test kit online or at your local home improvement or hardware store. Many kits are priced under $25.00.
- Hire a qualified tester do a radon test for you.
How to Lower Elevated Levels of Radon
The U.S. Environmental protection agency (EPA) has set an action level of 4pCi/L. This means that if the AVERAGE radon level is 4pCi/L or higher, you should act to lower the radon levels in the home.
If evlevated radon levels are found in your home, a radon mitigation system should be installed to lower the radon levels to below 4pCi/L. PVC pipes and a special type of fan are the basic components of a radon mitigation system. The most common radon mitigation system installed is a “sub-slab depressurization” system. This system pulls the radon out from underneath the foundation and vents it to the outside. An Ohio licensed radon contractor will be able to determine the right system for your home. The contractor should also seal all cracks and openings in the foundation floor and walls. ODH does not recommend the use of sealing alone to reduce elevated levels of radon.
Licking County Health Department's Radon Program
LCHD provides radon education and awareness through a grant from the US EPA, administered by Ohio Department of Health. We serve Ashland, Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Huron, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Richland, Ross, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, and Wayne Counties. For more information contact Grant Seredick, Health Educator, at (740) 349-1562 or email us.