Protect Your Family from Radon Gas
Radon in the air is ubiquitous (everywhere at the same time). Radon is in outdoor and indoor air of buildings of all kinds. EPA recommends fixing homes if the radon level is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) or more. Because there is no known safe level of radon exposure, EPA also recommends that Americans consider fixing their home for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.
The average indoor radon concentration for America's homes is about 1.3 pCi/L. Upon this national average indoor level is what the EPA based its estimate of 20,000 radon-related lung cancers a year. The average concentration of radon in outdoor air is .4 pCi/L or 1/10th of EPA's 4 pCi/L action level.
The risk of lung cancer for smokers is significant due to the synergistic effects of radon and smoking. About 62 people in 1,000 will die of lung cancer for this at-risk population compared to about 7 people in 1,000 of those who have never smoked. A non-smoker exposed to 1.3 pCi/L has a 2-in-1,000 chance of dying from lung cancer, whereas a smoker has a 20-in-1,000 probability. Smokers have a 6 times greater chance or more of dying from lung cancer than non-smokers.
In 1988, the United States Congress added Title III on Indoor Radon Abatement to the Toxic Substances Control Act. It codified and funded the EPA's then fledgling radon program. The Surgeon General issued a warning that same year, urging Americans to have their homes tested for radon and to reduce any radon levels when necessary.