A CITIZEN'S GUIDE TO RADON (SECOND EDITION) example, the basement if it is frequently used, other-wise the first floor). It should be put in a a Smoking combined with radon is an especially
room that is used regularly (like a living room, playroom, den or bedroom) but not your serious health disk. Stop smoking and lower your J8........
kitchen or bathroom. Place the kit at least 20 inches above the floor in a location where itradon level to reduce your lung cancer risk.:
THE GUIDE TO PROTECTING YOURSELF won't be disturbed away from drafts, high heat, high humidity, and exterior walls. Leave therported to have greater risk
AND YOUR FAMILY FROM RADON kit in place for as long as the package says. Once you've finished the test, reseal the pack-tnltsofcerinysocancer f radia-
(see other side for the Gainesville Radon Map)a senditto abwseeorut noosiedataon
The information on this side of this poster was taken verbatim from EPA's "A Citizen's Guidey teruuswithinaifw weeks.whether children are at greater risk man adults
To Radon.' This Information was developed by the United States Environmental ProtectionEPA RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING TESTING STEPS:from radon..~/.! .-
Agency, The U S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Public Health Se .Tk hr-emts.I orrsl s4pU rhgetk olwu et(tpYu hne fgtigln acrfo ao
Service, Centers For Disease Control. The Gainesville Radon Map (shown on the reverse 2 ob ue eedmsl n
S it ^ 'rS~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~Step 1. Take ashr -term test. If your result is 4 pCi/L or higher*, take a follow-up test (Step Y u chances o getting lung caner, from radon S: :
side of this poster) was developed by The Alachua County Office of Environmental
Protection using indoor radon data collected by researchers at The University of Florida. Step 2. Follow up with either a long-term test or a second short-term test: How much radon is in your home.
....... For a better understanding of your year-round average radon level, take a long- The amount of time you spend in your home.
D(:: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ term test.
4'F \ 'IO E^. PA~term test.t Whether you are a smoker or have ever smoked.
<. . If you need results quickly, take a second short-term test.IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF LUNG CANCER.
EPA RECOnMMENDS:The higher your initial short-term test result, the more certain you can be that DON'T WAIT TO TEST AND FIX A RADON PROBLEM.
you should take a short-term rather than a long-term follow up test. If your first IF YOU ARE A SMOKER, STOP SMOKING.
* Test your home for radon it's easy and inexpensive. short-term test result is several times the action level for example, about 10 RA N RIS IF YOU SMOKE:
, Fiyuhmiyurdn ,vlspccre ...trpLohg. .pCi/L or higher you should take a second short-term test immediately.
* Fix your home >f your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pC,. L} or higher.^ .. H ..ao f100pol h h iko acrfo HTT O
Step 3. If you followed up with a long-term test: Fix your home if your long-term testRao If10 pplwhTerikfcnerrmWHTOD-
Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced. ru i 4 pHi/L or mre*. Level smoked were exposed radon exposure compares to... Stop Smoking and ...
result is 4 pCi/L or more*.ttislvloea
to this level over a
* If you followed up with a second short-term test: The higher your short-term lifetime...
results, the more certain you can be that you should fix your home. Consider
30,R00ALON 1A fixing your home if the average of your first and second test is 4 pCi/L or100 times the risk of
Tor\ INA USE~ THOU SANDSeA nir~c~higher*. 20 pCi/L About 135 people could of drowning Fix your home
TOCUS THUOCIrUSANDSl/0 get lung cancer
VJ4 r A AI^I-O r~c A* 0.02 Working levels (WL) or higher.
OF CANCER DEATHS WHAT YOUR TEST RESULTS MEAN 100 times the risk of
1 0 pCi/L About 71 people could dying in a home fire Fix your home
deaths THE U.S. EA C YEAR, The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of get lung cancer
deaths ^^^Hradon is normally found in the outside air. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that
per year indoor radon levels be no more that outdoor levels. While this goal is not yet technologically 8 pCi/L About 57 people could Fix your home
achievable in all cases, most homes today can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below. get lung cancer
Sometimes short-term tests are less definitive about whether or not your home is above 44pL bt el c 1 ,0 tim t i dyi Fix y hom
pCi/L. This can happen when your results are close to 4 pCi/L. For example, if the average get lung cacri an alane rash
of your two short-term test results is 4.1 pCi/L, there is about a 50% chance that your year- lung fixrna
10,00H l^SSround average is somewhat below 4 pCi/L. However, EPA believes that any radon exposure onder i/L
10,000 ; I iilS~f~wcarries some risk-no level of radon is safe. Even radon levels below 4 pCi/L pose some levels between 4 and 4 poisL
^ 1 ,? risk, and you can reduce your risk of lung cancer by lowering your radon level. 2 pCi/L About 15 people could 2 times the risk of dying
~.~ee .~,l.~ If your living patterns change and you begin occupying a lower level of your home (such as ag
basement) you should retest your home on that level. 1.3 pCi/L About 9 people (Average indoor radon level) (Reducing
Even if your test result is below 4 pCi/L, you may want to test again sometime in the future.could get lung cancer radomeels
RADON AND HOME SALES 0.4 pCi/L About 3 people (Average indoor radon level) 2 pCi/L is
Dmank RADON* Drownings Fires Airline More and more, home buyers and renters are asking about radon levels before they buy orGould get lung cancer d !cult)
Driving Crashaesrent a home. Because real estate sales happen quickly, there is often little time to deal withsl NoteI youickly, a er smoker, lrisk tmae to de rit.
radon and other issues. The best thing to do is to test for radon NOW and save the results in
case the buyer is interested in them. Fix a problem if it exists so it won't complicate your RADON RISK IF YOU HAVE NEVER SMOKED- ...."
Radon is esumaied to cause aDou[ 14,000 aeams per year however, this number could home sale. If you are planning to move, call the Florida Radon Hotline (1 .800-543-8279) to
range from 7,000 to 30,000 deaths per year. The numbers of deaths from other causes request a copy of EPA's pamphlet "Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon," which Radon If 1,000 people who The risk of cancer from WHAT TO DO:
are taken from 1990 National Safety Council reports. addresses some common questions. During home sales: Level never smoked were radon sure compares to...
exposed to this level
* Buyers often ask if a home has been tested, and if elevated levels were reduced. over a lifetime...
RADON IS A CANCER-CAUSING, RADIOACTIVE GAS., ------------------------
* Buyers frequently want tests made by someone who is not involved in the home sale.- ., ,,-_., r,.,i.- ,, >, hm
You can't see radon. And you can't smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home.TBe Freut wan te 1 by s a is ot qualved instehs.20 piL About 8 peple could The risko being killed Fix your home
The Florida Radon Hotline 1-800-543-8279 has a list of qualified testers. gtln acri iln rm
' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~get tung cancer in a violent crime
Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when Buyers might want to know the radon levels in areas of the home (like a basement they
you breadre air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has plan to finish) that the seller might not otherwise test. 10 pCi/L About 4 people could Fix your home
warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. get lung cancer
Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon Today many homes are built to prevent radon from coming in. Your state or local area may
levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. require these radon-resistant construction features. Radon-resistant conslructnon features
usually keep radon levels in new homes below 2 pCi/L. If you are buying or renting a newp Aot 3 peop could i a timeste rixy h
RADON CAN BE FOUND ALL OVER THE U.S. home, ask the owner or builder if it has radon-resistant features.get lung cancer dying in an airplane crash
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water TEST YOUR HOME NOW AND SAVE YOUR RESULTS. 4 pCi/L About 2 people could Fix your home
and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any IF YOU FIND HIGH RADON LEVELS, FIX YOUR HOME get lung cancer The risk of drowning
type of building homes, offices, and schools and build up to high levels. But you and your BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO SELL IT. Consider fixing
family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home. That's where you spend most between 2 and 4 pCiL
of your time.RADON IN WATER2pCi/L About 1 person could The risk of dying
YOU SHOULD TEST FOR RADON. Compared to radon entering the home through soil, radon entering the home Through water get lung cancer in a home fire
will in most cases be a small source of risk. Radon gas can enter the home rough well
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the waer. it can be released into the air you breathe when water is used for snoweru an other 1.3 pCi/L Less than 1 person (Average indoor radon level) (Reducing
Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. EPA also rec- household uses. Research suggests that swallowing water with high radon levels may pose could get lung cancer radon levels
ommends testing in schools. risks, too, although risks from swallowing water containing radon are believed to be much below
.. ,. ,. .. .. i,,.,,. ,In~~lwer than thosep from breathing air containing radon.0.4 pCi/L Less than 1 person (Average indoor radon level) 2 pCi/L is
Testing is inexpensive and easy it shouldr time. Millions of f lower than tose from breaking air continuing radon.0 (vainord e) 2 piis
Americans have already tested their homes for radon. While radon in water is not a problem in homes served by most public water supplies, it has c g l
YOU CAN FIX A RADON PROBLEM. been found in well water. If you've tested the air in your home and found a radon problem, Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be higher.
and your water comes from a well, contact a lab certified to measure radiation in water to
There are simple ways to fix a radon problem that aren't too costly. Even very high levels hav e y our water tested. If you're on a public water supply and are concerned that radon may RADON MYTHS
can be reduced to acceptable levels. be entering your home through the water, call your public water supplier.
HOW DOES RADON GET INTO YOUR HOME? Radon problems in water can be readily fixed. The most effective treatment is to removeMYTH: Scientists aren't sure radon reall is a probem
Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found inron fom the water before it enters the home. This is called point-of-entry treatment.FACT: Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon, all
nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your homeTreatment at your water tap is called point-of-use treatment. Unfortunately, poit-of-usemajor health organizations (like the Centers for Disease Control, the American Lung
through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can treatment will not reduce most of the inhalation risk from radon.Association and the American Medical Association) agree with estimates that radon causes
build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed Call the Florida Radon Hotline (1-800-543-8279) or the EPA Drinking Water Hotline (800-tsans true among
and drafty homes, and homes without basements. 426-4791) for more information on radon in water. s
Radon from soil is the main cause of radon problems. Sometimes radon enters the home HOW TO LOWER THE RADON LEVEL IN YOUR HOME MYTH: Radon testing is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.
through well water. In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon,
too. However, building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves. Since there is no known safe level of radon, there can always be some risk. But the risk can FACT: Radon testing in inexpensive and easy-it should take only a little of your time.
be reduced by lowering the radon level in your home.
RADON GETS MAY THROUGH:A variety of methods are used to reduce MYTH: Radon test kits are not reliable and are difficult to find.
RADON GETS IN THROUGH: -,radon in your home. In some cases, sealing FACT: Reliable test kits are available through the mail, in hardware stores and other retail
1. Cracks in solid floors. cracks in floors and walls may help to reduce 'outlets. Call the Florida Radon Hotline (1 -800-543-8279) for a list of test kit companies that
"radon. In other cases, simple systems using ^ ^^^^^^^^^Hlhave met EPA requirements for reliability or are state certified.
2. Construction joints. pipes and fans may be used to reduce V;
3. Cracks in walls~~~~~~. radon. Such systems are called 'sub-slab MYTH Hoe-hrdnpolm ca't befxd
4. Gaps in suspended floors. ~ ~~~~~~~~~~depressurization," and do not require major -A
^ ^ l""^. *: '^^ ^. -----^m ^ ^ ^ 3MYTH: Ho~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~sw~~h radon probesYTH coes ithrnon robemscanted.fied
4. Gaps in suspended floors. =" i^^S^IES WS~tt ^^changes to hour home. These systems FACT: There are simple solutions to radon problems in homes. Thousands of homeowners
_. Gaps radon gas from below the concrete ,, .,,-,-- -----have already fixed radon problems in their homes. Radon levels can be readily lowered for
5~~. Gaps around se've pipes.. 'S....^- .^', 'floor and the foundation before it can enter '.-..- ~- about $500 to $2,500. Call The Alachua County Office of Environmental Protection (336-
6. Cavities inside walls. -- ::'.: '*' the home. Similar systems can also be ...-"' 2442) for a list of contractors that have met EPA requirements and are state certified.
;' .-ft':' "" '' ," 'installed in houses with crawl spaces. Radon 'p "''
7. The water supply. ~ contractors use other methods that may also -' .. MYTH: Radon only affects certain kinds of homes.
Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes work in your home. The right system ............ .
in the U.S...s estimated to have s ..-,. FACT: House construction can affect radon levels. However, radon can be a problem in
elevatedI radon levels. Elevated r factors homes of alI types: old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with
eleva~ ~ ~ ~~~~~~: thedrfatonrees. Eeae
levels of radon g as have been ,a,, -;Dasemems, homes winoui basements.
foundein homes r n your tateb Ways to reduce radon in your home are dis- r,. :.
found in homes in your state. !* "' ." *cussed in EPA's "Consumer's Guide to '
Contact your state radon office MYTH: Radon is only a problem in certain parts of the country.
Con.act your state raoon ottice ^Radon Reduction." You can get a copy by ; :j
for general information about calling the Florida Radon Hotline (1-800- : \ -.FACT: High radon levels have been found in every state. Radon problems do vary from area
radon in your area. While radon \ 543-8279). .. 'to area, but the only way to know your radon level is to test.
problems may be more common /...... .... .... ....
in some areas, any home may The cost of making repairs to reduce radon UVn ': ;A neighboe test is a good indication M whether your home has aproblm.
have a problem. The only way to know about your home is to test. depends on how your home was built and ....... i
. ,, -, i. ^the extent of the radon problem. Most .....FACT: It's not. Radon levels vary from home to home. The only way to know if your home
Radon can be a problem in schools and workplaces, too. Ask your state radon office about homes can be fixed for about the same costhsardnpolmitoeti.
radon problems in schools and workplaces in your area. as other common home repairs like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The____
HOW TO TEST YOUR HOME average house costs about $1,200 for a contractor to fix, although this can range from about MYTH: Everyone should test their water for radon.
$500 to about $2,500.
You can't see radon, but it's not hard to find out it you have a radon problem in your home. FACT: While radon gets into some homes through the water, you should first test the air in
All you need to do is test for radon. Testing is easy and should only take a few minutes of Lowering high radon levels requires technical knowledge and special skills. You should use your home for radon. If you find high levels and your water comes from a well, contact a lab
your time. a contractor who is trained to fix radon problems. The EPA Radon Contractor Proficiency certified to measure radiation in water to have your water tested.
(RCP) Program tests these contractors. EPA provides a list of RCP contractors to state____
The amount of radon in the air is measured in "picocuries per liter of air," or "pCi/L." radon offices. A contractor who has passed the EPA test will carry a special RCP identifica-.,,.,..rmrt pihmc hr ainnnlr apha iopp
Sometimes test results are expressed in Working Levels (WL) rather than picocuries per liter to card. A trained RCP contractor can study the radon problem in your home and help youMT-tsdflu osehm wr aonob shv en scee*
(pCi/L). There are many kinds of low-cost "do it yourself" radon test kits you can get throughpic the right treatment method.FACT: Where radon problems have been fixed, home sales have not been blocked or frus-
the mail and in hardware stores and other retail outlets. Make sure you buy a test kit that, *,r ,^ treated. The added protection is sometimes a good selling point.
has passed EPA's testing program or is state-certified. These kits will usually display the Check with The Alachua County Office of Environmental Protection (336-2442) for names of____ r
phrase "Meets EPA Requirements." If you prefer, or if you are buying or selling a house, you state certified radon contractors in this area. Picking someone to fix your radon problem is
can hire a trained contractor to do the testing for you. Make certain you hire an EPA-qualified much like choosing a contractor for other home repairs you may want to get references andMm ve"d n hefos 'S1 os laksnel teaco ow;
or state-certified radon tester. Call the State of Florida Radon Hotline (1 -800-543-8279) for a more than one estimate. FACT: You will reduce your risk of lung cancer when you reduce radon levels, even if you've
list of these testers. If you plan to fix the problem in your home yourself, you should first contact the Floridalie ihardnpolmfraln ie
THERE ARE TWO GENERAL WAYS TO TEST FOR RADON: Radon Hotline (1-800-543-8279) to request a copy of EPA's technical guide, "Radon
^>~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Reduction Techniques for Detached Houses." MYTH: Short-term tests can't be used for making a decision about whether to fix your home.
You should also test your home again after it is fixed to be sure that radon levels have been FACT: A short-term test followed by a second short-term test may be used to decide
The quickest way to test is with short-term tests. Short-term tests remain in your home for reduced. Most radon reduction systems include a monitor that will alert you if the system whether to fix your home. However, the closer the average of your two short-term tests is to
two days to 90 days, depending on the device. "Charcoal canisters," "alpha trace," "electret needs servicing. In addition, it's a good idea to retest your home sometime in the future to be 4 pCi/L, the less certain you can be about whether your year-round average is above or
ion chamber," "continuous monitors," and "charcoal liquid scintillation" detectors are most sure radon levels remain low. below that level. Keep in mind that radon levels below 4 pCi/L still pose some risk. Radon
commonly used for short-term testing. Because radon levels tend to vary from day to day levels can be reduced in most homes to 2 pCi/L or below.
and season to season, a short-term test is less likely than a long-term test to tell you your RADON AND HOME RENOVATIONS.
year-round average radon level. If you need results quickly, however, a short-term test fol-yI you ar planning any major structural renovation, such as converting an unfinished base- FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Owed by a second short-term test may be used to decide whether to fix your home.^ meta ea into living space, it is especially important to test the area for radon before youifraonnhwtoedc u aonelhrskalteForaRdnHtie
TESTINGIS EASYAND SHOLD ONLYTAKE A EW MINUES OF YUR TIMEbegin the renovation. If your test results indicate a radon problem, radon-resistant tech-Eg" To^^
niques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation. Because major renovationsv-" M-'-y Py;
LONG-TERM TESTING: can change the level of radon in any home, always test again after work is completed. Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon
Long-term tests remain in your home for more than 90 days."Alpha track" and "electret"THE RadKoFLVnGWT RADn "Schools18., p.
detectors are commonly used for this type of testing. A long-term test will give you a reading- "o.Aryid ua
that is more likely to tell you your home's year-round average radon level than a short-term Radon gas decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you* CosmrsGet ao euto
tgest.breathe. As they break down further, these particles release small bursts of energy. This can Technical Support Document
damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of your lifetime. Not everyone._ __,_,,,_, i-,,. ,nt hocrrananNnm / n
H~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ ~xoWTUsed to TSKI: elevated levels of radon will develop lung cancer. And the amount of time^ T S cagp eon"dn'r;,*?:
Follow the instructions that come with your test kit. If you are doing a short-term test, close between exposure and the onset of the disease may be many years. "Application of Radon Reduction Techniques of Detached Houses."
your wmndows and outside doors and keep them closed as much as possible during the Like other environmental pollutants, there is some uncertainty about the magnitude ofonrn ciniHA MAutnv
test(lf(oufaeydongaaseod-terntesaishort-tstermr daytbesuasto goseyourwindwsraon haltsrisk. However weonowloreeboutradnwriksdtansrsksRromOostGther R A L c HEALTH nADVISORY:viunT
and outside doors at least 12 hours before beginning the test, too. You should not conduct cancer-causing substances. This is because estimates of radon risks are based on studies "indoor radon gas is a national health problem. Radon causes thousands of deaths each
short-term tests lasting just 2 or 3 days during unusually severe storms or periods of unusu- of cancer in humans (undergroun,' miners). Additional studies on more typical populations year. Millions of homes have elevated radon levels. Homes should be tested for radon.
ally high wmnds.) The test kit should be placed in the lowest lived-in level of the home (forare underway. When elevated levels are confirmed, the problem should be corrected."
,Prinmed by ICM Prin rng Compan~ Inc
Gainesville Flornaa r..'