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Radon and Your Health

Radon can cause lung cancer

Radon can lead to lung cancer after many years of breathing it. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. The most important thing you can do is to test your home and find out if your home has high levels of radon.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Surgeon General strongly recommends all homes be tested for radon. Homes with radon levels of four picocuries per Liter (4 pCi/L) or higher should be fixed.

Three factors affecting lung cancer:

  • Amount of radon in your home
  • Amount of time spent in your home with radon
  • Your smoking status

Smoking combined with radon is a serious health risk

The best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer is to stop smoking and lower your radon levels. Protect yourself from radon exposure and get help to quit smoking.

Lung cancer causes more preventable deaths than any other cancer. The burden of lung cancer is felt differently between men and women. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women, P-2329, killing more women each year than breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer combined.

Radon and Smoking Infographic

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Smokers are more at risk for lung cancer than nonsmokers

EPA Risk Estimates for Long-Term Radon Exposures in Homes

Average Radon Exposure

Lifetime Risk of Lung Cancer from Radon

  Persons who Never Smoked Current Smokers
8 pCi/L 15 in 1,000 120 in 1,000
4 pCi/L 7 in 1,000 62 in 1,000
2 pCi/L 4 in 1,000 32 in 1,000
1.3 pCi/L 2 in 1,000 20 in 1,000
Based on 1999 NAS Report


Experts are available statewide to answer your questions and provide test kits to the general public.

Have questions or need help? Get in touch with a radon expert by calling
1-888-LOW-RADON (1-888-569-7236).

Last revised September 30, 2020