How do you test for radon in your home?
You can't see it, smell it, or taste it. However, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is a radioactive gas formed as a result of natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. It can be found, in various concentrations, all over the United States. Testing is the only way to determine if you are at risk.
Testing for radon is easy to do and it takes very little time with the convenient testing kits that are available. Free radon test kits are available through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS): http://www.dhss.mo.gov/Radon/. Register to receive a free radon test kit at: http://www.dhss.mo.gov/Radon/FreeTestKit_Registration.html.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends installing radon reduction systems in homes with concentrations of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or greater. However, radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and may be reduced through radon reduction systems.
Barbara Buffaloe, LEED AP, Housing & Environmental Design Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Monday, May 18, 2009