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Radon

Metro East Home Inspection, Inc.

You can’t see it, smell it or taste it. Radon is estimated to claim over 20,000 lives per year in the United States, 1100 lives per year in Illinois alone. Radon gas claims more lives per year than melanoma or drunk drivers. The more radon you are exposed to the greater the risk of eventually developing lung cancer.

The U.S. Surgeon General, American Lung Association, World Health Organization and many others have warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

It is 5 to 6 times more dangerous than second hand smoke. If you smoke and your home has elevated levels of radon your risk of developing lung cancer is especially high. It is estimated that 43% of the homes in Illinois have elevated levels of radon gas. Radon can be found everywhere and in any home – new and old, well-sealed or drafty, with or without a basement.

Radon gas comes from the natural decay of uranium in the soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. You and your family are most likely to receive the greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.

Radon Risk if You've Never Smoked

20 pCi/L About 36 people could get lung cancer 35 times the risk of drowning Fix your home
10 pCi/L About 18 people could get lung cancer 20 times the risk of dying in a home fire Fix your home
8 pCi/L About 15 people could get lung cancer 4 times the risk of dying in a fall Fix your home
4 pCi/L About 7 people could get lung cancer The risk of dying in a car crash Fix your home
2 pCi/L About 4 people could get lung cancer The risk of dying from poison Consider fixing between 2 and 4 pCi/L
1.3 pCi/L About 2 people could get lung cancer (Average indoor radon level) (Reducing radon levels below 2 pCi/L is difficult.)
0.4 pCi/L (Average outdoor radon level)

Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be higher.
* Lifetime risk of lung cancer deaths from EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003).
** Comparison data calculated using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 1999-2001 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Reports.

Radon Risk If You Smoke

20 pCi/L About 260 people could get lung cancer 250 times the risk of drowning Fix your home
10 pCi/L About 150 people could get lung cancer 200 times the risk of dying in a home fire Fix your home
8 pCi/L About 120 people could get lung cancer 30 times the risk of dying in a fall Fix your home
4 pCi/L About 62 people could get lung cancer 5 times the risk of dying in a car crash Fix your home
2 pCi/L About 32 people could get lung cancer 6 times the risk of dying from poison Consider fixing between 2 and 4 pCi/L
1.3 pCi/L About 20 people could get lung cancer (Average indoor radon level) (Reducing radon levels below 2 pCi/L is difficult.)
0.4 pCi/L About 3 people could get lung cancer (Average outdoor radon level)

Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be lower.
* Lifetime risk of lung cancer deaths from EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003).
** Comparison data calculated using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 1999-2001 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Reports.

How does radon get into your home?

Radon gas typically moves up through the ground and into your home through cracks in the floors or walls, joints, gaps around pipes and other holes or cavities in the walls or foundation. Radon can enter the home even when no visible cracks exist. Radon also can enter the home through well water, and in some rare cases, building materials may be a source of radon. Your home traps radon where it can build up.

Metro East Home Inspection, Inc.
  • 1 Cavities inside walls
  • 2 Cracks in solid floors
  • 3 Construction joints
  • 4

    Cracks in walls

  • 5

    The water supply

  • 6

    Gaps in suspended floors

  • 7

    Gaps around service pipes

After the test: What does it mean?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Department of Nuclear Safety recommends:
Fix your home if the radon level is 4.0 pCI/L (picoCuries per Liter) or higher.In addition, due to normal fluctuations in radon levels, you should retest your home every 2 years.

Metro East Home Inspection, Inc.

Fixing a radon problem.

Reducing radon levels can be easy and relatively inexpensive. The first step is to hire a licensed radon contractor (mitigator). Be sure to have the home retested after the radon mitigation system has been installed.

Metro East Home Inspection, Inc.

Protect yourself and your family. Test your home.

Every home should be tested, even if it was built radon – resistant. You can not predict radon levels based on state, local neighborhoods or even the home next door. The only way to know whether your home has elevated radon is to test it.

Testing is simple and inexpensive.

To quickly find out if you have a radon problem, contact Metro East Home Inspection, LLC at (618) 641-9106 for a professional measurement.

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