Radon Myths/Truths


Myth  Scientists are not sure radon really is a problem.
Fact Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon, all major health organizations (like the Centers for Disease Control, the American Lung Association, and the American Medical Association) agree with estimates that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year. This is especially true among smokers, since the risk to smokers is much greater than to non-smokers.
 
Myth Radon testing is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.
Fact  Radon testing is inexpensive and easy — it should take only a little of your time.
 
Myth Radon test kits are not reliable and are difficult to find.
Fact  Reliable test kits are available through the mail, in hardware stores and other retail outlets. Call the Ohio Department of Health (1-800-523-4439) for a list of test-kit companies that are state-certified. They also have a coupon that can be used to order an inexpensive test kit.
 
Myth Homes with radon problems cannot be fixed, or the cost of mitigation will be very expensive.
Fact  There are simple solutions to radon problems in homes. Thousands of homeowners in Ohio have already fixed radon problems in their homes. Radon levels can be readily lowered for, typically, $600 to $1200 in Ohio. Call 1-8O0-523-4439 for a list of contractors that are licensed by Ohio.
 
Myth Radon only affects certain kinds of homes.
Fact  House construction can affect radon levels. However, radon can be a problem in homes of all types: old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements, and homes without basements.
 
Myth Radon is only a problem in certain parts of Ohio.
Fact  High radon levels have been found in every county and most of the zip code areas in Ohio. Radon problems do vary from area to area, but the only way to know your radon level is to test.
 
Myth A neighbor’s test result is a good indication of whether your home has a problem.
Fact  It is not always reliable because radon levels can vary from one home to the next. The only way to know for sure if your home has a radon problem is to test it.
 
Myth Everyone should test their water for radon.
Fact  While radon gets into some homes through the water, you should first test the air in your home for radon. If you find high levels and your water comes from a well, contact a lab certified to measure radiation in water to have your water tested. The radon levels measured in Ohio water wells have not been at levels of concern.
 
Myth It is difficult to sell homes where radon problems have been discovered.
Fact  Where radon problems have been fixed, home sales have not been blocked or frustrated. The added protection is sometimes a good selling point.
 
Myth I have lived in my home for so long, it doesn’t make sense to take action now.
Fact  You will reduce your risk of lung cancer when you reduce radon levels, even if you’ve lived with a radon problem for a long time.
 
Myth Short-term tests cannot be used for making a decision about whether to fix your home.
Fact  A short-term test followed by a second one may be used to decide whether to fix your home. However, the closer the average of your two short-term tests is to 4 pCi/l, the less certain you can be about whether your year-round average is above or below that level. Keep in mind that radon levels below 4 pCi/l still pose some risk. Radon levels can be reduced in most homes to 2 pCi/l or below.


 
 

Go to the Top of Page.

Go to the Main Page.