- Cancer 101: Cancer Explained
- Guide to Breast Cancer
- Skin Cancer Risks
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- Radon Facts*
- EPA Recommendations for Radon
- Overview About Radon
- How Does Radon Get Into Your Home?
- How to Test Your Home for Radon
- Short-term Testing for Radon
- Long-term Testing for Radon
- How to Use a Radon Test Kit
- What Your Test Results Mean
- Radon and Home Sales
- Radon in Water
- How to Lower the Radon Levels in Your Home
- The Risk of Living With Radon
- Radon Risk Charts
- Radon Myths
- For Further Information
Quick GuideHome Health Pictures Slideshow: Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
How Does Radon Get Into Your Home?
Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.
Radon from soil gas is the main cause of radon problems. Sometimes radon enters the home through well water (see "Radon in Water" below). In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon, too. However, building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.
Radon Gets In Through:
- Cracks in solid floors
- Construction joints
- Cracks in walls
- Gaps in suspended floors
- Gaps around service pipes
- Cavities inside walls
- The water supply
Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in your state. Contact your state radon office for general information about radon in your area. While radon problems may be more common in some areas, any home may have a problem. The only way to know about your home is to test.
Radon can also be a problem in schools and workplaces. Ask your state radon office about radon problems in schools, daycare and childcare facilities, and workplaces in your area.