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Radon - 222



Radon (chemical symbol Rn) has numerous different isotopes; but Radon-222 is the primary and most common isotope of radon, which is of public health interest.

Radon-222 is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and inert radioactive gas, produced by the natural radioactive decay/breakdown of Radium-226 (itself a radioactive decay of Uranium-238) in soil, rock and water. Radon gets into the air you breathe. It can get into any type of building - homes, offices, schools, etc. - and build up to high levels. Consequently, radon is the largest source of exposure to naturally occurring radiation.

However, the primary risk of lung cancer from exposure to Radon-222 does not come from direct exposure to the itself, but from exposure to the Radon Decay Products (RDP), which are solid, airborne and breathable particles. The most dangerous RDP are the alpha ray emitters Polonium-218 and Polonium-214, which account for the major portion of radiation doses received in most situations and are the primary source of radon-induced lung cancers.

You and your family are most likely to get your highest exposure at home, because Radon-222 tends to collect in homes, sometimes to very high concentrations, and since that is where you spend most of your time, especially in bedrooms (average 8 out 24 hours).

Radon can be found all over the U.S. and the Great Washington Metropolitan Area. (click on your state on left to see EPA Radon Map).


EPA recommends that all homeowners test their home for radon. It is easy and inexpensive. If the radon level is 4 pCi/L (pico Curies per liter) or higher ("Action Level"), a simple radon remediation system must be installed for simply venting the foundation of the home and providing an escape for radon so it does not collect in the structure.

Another level set by the EPA is 2 pCi/L ("Consider Action Level"). At this level, the EPA recommends that you consider installing radon abatement systems in your home to reduce your indoor radon levels.

We highly recommend radon tests on homes in Montgomery, Howard and Frederick counties, other North Maryland counties, and Northern Virginia counties either by the seller by contingency on the contract of sale, or by the buyer after settlement. The cost is minimal compared to the risk.

The cost of radon testing by a certified specialist is about $150 to $370, depending on the size and configuration of the house.

The national average outdoor indoor Radon level is about 0.4 pCi/L (or 15 Bq/m3).

The long-term goal that indoor radon level be no more than the outdoor level (i.e., 0.4 pCi/L or 15 Bq/m3) is not yet technologically achievable.

The national average indoor Radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L.

The goal of reducing radon concentration level in homes to 2 pCi/L or below (74 Bq/m3) is now technologically achievable.

The cost of Radon Abatement/Remediation is approximately $800 to $2,500, depending on the size and configuration of the house. The results are instantaneous, and you and your family can sleep at night.
Radon Abatement/Remediation
EPA Radon Maps





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Last modified: 03/28/2017

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