Myths About Radon

Many people have common misconceptions about radon and the danger it poses. We'll dispell some of those myths and replace them with facts. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us. We will gladly provide an answer or tell you where to find it.

Myth: Scientists aren't sure radon really is a problem.

Fact: All major health organizations (the Centers for Disease Control, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association) agree that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year. This is true for both smokers and non-smokers. Radon is the leading cause of lung-cancer in non-smokers.

Myth: Radon testing is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.

Fact: Radon testing is easy, inexpensive, requires 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 at other retail outlets. Visit the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Radon Program for a list of state-certified companies that manufacture test kits and state-certified labs that process them.

Myth: Homes with radon problems can't be fixed.

Fact: Yes, they can. Thousands of homeowners have already fixed radon problems in their homes. Radon mitigation systems generally cost between $500 and $2,500. Visit the IEMA Radon Program for a list of state-certified radon mitigation contractors.

Myth: Radon only affects certain kinds of homes.

Fact: Home construction can affect radon levels to a degree, but all types of homes (old, new, drafty, well-insulated, homes with and without basements) can accumulate elevated levels of radon.

Myth: Radon is only a problem in certain parts of the country.

Fact: Though the level of risk varies from area to area, homes with elevated radon levels have been found in every state, even in low-risk zones. If you live in a low-risk zone, don't be lulled into a sense of complacency. The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test.

For more information about the threat of radon in your county, visit the IEMA Radon Program.

Myth: A neighbor's test result is a good indication of whether your home has a radon problem.

Fact: No, it's not. Radon levels vary from home to home. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test it.

Myth: Everyone should test their water for radon.

Fact: Not necessarily. Though radon enters some homes through the water supply, you should first test the air in your home for radon. If you find high levels and your water comes from a well, then you should test your water. Contact a lab certified to measure radiation in water to test your water supply.

Myth: It's difficult to sell homes where radon problems have been discovered.

Fact: In homes where radon problems have been fixed, home sales have not been blocked or frustrated. In fact, the added protection is sometimes a good selling point.

Myth: I've lived in my home for so long, it doesn't make sense to take action now.

Fact: Even if you've lived with a radon problem for a long time, you will still reduce your risk of lung cancer by reducing radon levels in your home.

Myth: Short-term tests can't be used for making a decision about whether to fix your home.

Fact: One short-term test followed by a second short-term test should provide the basis for a sound decision about whether or not to fix your home.

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