Radon

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In 2013, 15.0% homes at risk for radon exposure had an operating radon mitigation system.

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Introduction

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon has no smell or taste and cannot be seen. It can be found all over the United States, in every state. Radon can get into any type of building where there is naturally occurring radon in the ground. When buildings have high levels of radon in the air, people can breathe air containing radon which can cause lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking tobacco. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Most people are exposed to radon primarily in their homes since that is where people spend most of their time. Homes can be tested for radon. If high levels of radon are detected, there are ways to lower radon levels in a home. New homes can be built with radon-resistant features. These features can reduce radon entry, and can make it easier and less expensive to lower radon levels if necessary.

Examination of radon is new to the Cancer Trends Progress Report this year.

Measure

The proportion of homes with an operating radon mitigation system for persons living in homes at risk for radon exposure. This measure is expressed as a percentage. It is calculated for each year by dividing the cumulative number of single family dwellings (SFD) with an operating mitigation system by the number of SFDs estimated to have a radon level ≥4pCi/L, which is EPA’s action level. The number of SFDs with an operating mitigation system is calculated based on the gross number of radon vent fans sold for a given year adjusted for longevity by subtracting the fans installed 11 years before, assuming the useful life of a fan is 10 years, and assuming one fan per SFD. The number of fans sold is based on radon vent fan sales data from three major fan manufacturers that represent over 90 percent of the market. More information available on the Healthy People 2020 website.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Increase the proportion of homes with an operating radon mitigation system for persons living in homes at risk for radon exposure.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Homes with an Operating Radon Mitigation System

The proportion of homes with an operating radon mitigation system for persons living in homes at risk for radon exposure, 2003-2013
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2013)
Percent of homes Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for The proportion of homes with an operating radon mitigation system for persons living in homes at risk for radon exposure, 2003-2013 Homes with an Operating Radon Mitigation SystemClick to see the detailed trend graph for Homes with an Operating Radon Mitigation System 15.0 Not available

Additional Information on Radon

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Year Range

2003-2013

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2009-2013

Summary Tables

Chemical Exposures

Recent Summary Trend

Rising

Desired Direction

Rising