What Is Radon?

Watch to learn how radon causes lung cancer.

Radon is a radioactive gas produced when radioactive metals, including uranium, thorium, or radium, break down in rocks, soil, and groundwater. Radon gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, so special equipment is required to test for radon levels. Exposure to radon usually occurs from breathing in air containing radon, which can enter through cracks and gaps in buildings and homes. Radon is harmful to human health and can cause lung cancer and other respiratory problems. It is important to test for radon and take steps to reduce exposure if radon levels are too high.

Where does radon come from?

United States radon risk level map

Click the image to enlarge.

Radon is released into the atmosphere from the earth as uranium-rich soil and rocks degrade. Radon sources are found directly in the earth, as well as in well water, and accumulate in enclosed spaces such as underground mines and basements.

For this reason, radon is found all over the world and can become a problem no matter where you live. In the United States, the northern regions of the country are typically at the highest risk, but no area of the country is radon-free.

Click the map to the right to see if you live in a high-risk area.

Exposure to radon causes lung cancer in non-smokers and smokers

Prevent Lung Cancer and Test for Radon in Maryland

Regular testing will help limit the risk of dangerous exposure to radon in your home.

Lung cancer is responsible for killing more Americans annually than the other top cancers combined. And because it's often considered a "self-induced" disease, it also tends to be the least funded. However, the World Health Organization reports that radon causes 15% of the world's lung cancer cases, leading to the deaths of 20,000 Americans annually. For those 20,000 people who do not have lung cancer due to tobacco smoke, this is far from self-induced! Radon induced lung cancer kills one person every 25 minutes, joining arsenic, asbestos and benzene as a Class-A Carcinogen.

While the effects of smoking cigarettes are far more recognizable when compared to the effects of radon exposure, there is very little separating the severity of these two causes of lung cancer. How can smoking cigarettes be compared to radon exposure? Check this out!

1 pCi/L of radon is equal to 2.5 cigarettes a day! Multiply a home's radon levels by 2.5 and understand that any homeowner could easily experience the effects of smoking a "pack a day" if the radon levels are at 4.0 pCi/L-- the minimum action level established by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Radon in homes is more harmful than radiation from chest X-rays

The amount of radiation in 4.0 pCi/L of radon equals 100 chest X-rays. Sure, that seems like a lot, but this gets worse. Most hospitals only allow patients to have four chest X-rays each year.

Let's do the math. That converts to the equivalent of .16 pCi/L per X-ray and .64 pCi/L of radiation annually with four X-rays. In other words, radon mitigation is crucial to protecting our health.

How are radon levels in homes measured?

If you don't know what your home's radon levels are, it's important to have the space tested right away. Radon gas is odorless, tasteless in water, and invisible. Levels can vary from one home to the next, so even if your neighbor has safe levels, your health may be in danger.

If testing shows that your home's radon levels are indeed higher than the recommended safe level (4 pCi/L), you should consider installing a radon mitigation system. Here at Airwiz Radon, our experts offer free quotes for a customized system, so there's no risk in learning more. If your budget is limited but you'd like your home environment to be healthy as soon as possible, be sure to ask us about our financing options.

Contact us today to request a radon test or a free estimate for radon mitigation. We proudly serve the Maryland area, including Silver Spring, Rockville, Gaithersburg and surrounding regions including Frederick, Germantown.

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

We serve the following areas

  • Adamstown
  • Ashton
  • Barnesville
  • Beallsville
  • Bethesda
  • Boyds
  • Braddock Heights
  • Brinklow
  • Brookeville
  • Brunswick
  • Buckeystown
  • Burkittsville
  • Burtonsville
  • Cabin John
  • Chevy Chase
  • Clarksburg
  • Damascus
  • Derwood
  • Dickerson
  • Frederick
  • Gaithersburg
  • Garrett Park
  • Germantown
  • Glen Echo
  • Ijamsville
  • Jefferson
  • Kensington
  • Knoxville
  • Libertytown
  • Middletown
  • Monrovia
  • Montgomery Village
  • Mount Airy
  • Myersville
  • New Market
  • Olney
  • Point Of Rocks
  • Poolesville
  • Potomac
  • Rockville
  • Sandy Spring
  • Silver Spring
  • Spencerville
  • Suburb Maryland Fac
  • Takoma Park
  • Tuscarora
  • Unionville
  • Walkersville
  • Washington Grove
  • Woodsboro
Our Locations:

Airwiz Radon

Rockville, MD 20852