Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that is colorless, tasteless, and odorless but can cause serious health problems. Long-term exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for over 20,000 deaths each year.
Radon gas is formed from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil, rocks, and water under homes. The gas seeps up from the ground into buildings through cracks in foundations, basement walls, gaps around service pipes and sump pumps. When it is indoors, radon gas becomes trapped and accumulates in the air. When people breathe in radon, it damages the lungs.
Radon is found throughout the United States and can vary widely from one home to another. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a Map of Radon Zones that estimates the relative levels of radon that may be present in homes. Allen County is in Zone 1, meaning the area is at the highest risk of radon exposure.
Below you will find more information on testing and mitigation of radon as well as other helpful resources.
If you have additional questions about radon, please call our Environmental Services Division – Vector Control & Healthy Homes at (260) 449-7459.
Testing for Radon
Most radon exposure occurs in the home, where people spend the most time. Because radon has no taste, smell, or color, a home must be tested to find out how much radon is in the air. The only way to know if you are being exposed to radon in your home is to run a test.
Testing is simple and inexpensive. The Allen County Department of Health provides free test kits at locations throughout Allen County, while supplies last. Kits can also be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores for around $30. You also can hire a qualified tester to do a radon test for you.
Be sure to follow the directions on the packaging for the proper placement of the device and where to send the device after the test to get your reading.
Free test kits are available at the following locations while supplies last:
- Allen County Department of Health
200 E. Berry St., Suite 360
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
- Vector Control & Environmental Services
2242 Carroll Road
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Closed from 12-1 p.m. for lunch)
- Grabill Town Hall
13717 1st St.
Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Leo-Cedarville Town Hall
13909 Pony Express Run
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Monroeville Utility Department
101 S Water St.
- New Haven Utility Payment Office
City Hall, 815 E Lincoln Hwy.
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Woodburn City Hall
22735 Main St.
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. (Closed from 12-1 p.m. for lunch)
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), a measurement of radioactivity. There is no safe level for radon, but the EPA recommends fixing homes that have levels at or above 4pCi/L. It is estimated that 1 in every 15 U.S. homes has radon levels greater than 4 pCi/L.
If your test results exceed that level, a mitigation system should be installed to remove the radon gas from beneath your home. These systems can cost between $500 – $2,500, with an average cost of $1,200.
Visit the State of Indiana’s Professional licensing site to find a licensed radon tester or mitigator in your area.
Below are links to videos and publications related to radon.
Radon: Eddie’s Story (EPA)
Consumer Education: What is Radon? (EPA)
Breathing Easy: What Home Buyers and Sellers Should Know About Radon (EPA)
- Indiana Radon Information (ALA)
- Radon Information (CDC)
- Radon Information (EPA)
- Radon FAQs (EPA)
- A Federal Action Plan for Saving Lives from Radon (EPA)
- Health Risks of Radon (EPA)
- Consumer’s Guide to Radon – How to Fix Your Home (EPA)
- Radon Information and Certification (ISDH)
- Radon: How to Assess the Risks and Protect Your Home (Purdue Extension)