Protecting Your Home from Radon

    Protecting Your Home from Radon

    Dec 30, 2019

    We all want our homes to be healthy places for our families to thrive, so it’s important to understand the threats that may be present. One such threat is radon, a tasteless, odorless, and colorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally as uranium decays in rock, dirt, and sometimes water.

    We are primarily at risk to radon in our homes when we breathe it in as it rises from the ground beneath us. It's important to understand the threat radon poses, but also what we can do to mitigate its effects.

    Did you know radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. According to the EPA? Plus, 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states had screening levels significantly higher than the EPA's acceptable level for radon exposure.

    It’s a good idea to get your home checked out for radon. There are no symptoms for radon exposure and its effects take years to manifest. Proper testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels. The EPA has estimated that as many as eight million homes in the U.S. have dangerous levels of radon. That’s as many as one in five homes.

    You can purchase a DIY radon testing kit at hardware stores, many big box retail chains, online, and even from your local health department. The testing kits are easy to use and inexpensive. You can get passive devices like charcoal canisters or charcoal liquid scintillation detectors. Once used, the test kit is sent to a lab for analysis. You can also get professional testers to come to your home. If you decide to hire professionals, make sure they are on a certified list provided by your state radon office.

    The most common way to mitigate or prevent radon from entering your home involves vents and exhaust fans combined with sealing off your basement to prevent radon from entering. The cost varies depending on the size of your home, but usually ranges somewhere between one and two thousand dollars.

    Radon is potential threat to the health of you and your loved ones, but there are easy ways to find out if your home is at risk.

    Click here to learn more about the National Radon Action Plan.

    For more information about Radon Testing in Tennessee, call one of the Toll free hotlines at 800-232-1139 or 888-891-8332. You may also email tdec.radon@tn.gov or tn.health@tn.gov or visit this site to request a free test kit.