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Found all over the U.S., radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas without color, odor, or
taste that comes from the radioactive decay of uranium in soil, rock, and groundwater.  
Uranium is present in varying quantities throughout the United States, but even in areas
with relatively low quantities, structures can still exceed the EPA's recommended limits of
exposure for radon.  Radon emits ionizing radiation during its radioactive decay to several
radioactive isotopes known as radon decay products.

Radon gets into the indoor air primarily from soil under homes and other buildings.  Radon
is a known human lung carcinogen, and is the largest source of radiation exposure and
risk to the general public.  Most inhaled radon is rapidly exhaled, but the inhaled decay
products readily deposit in the lung, where they irradiate sensitive cells in the airways
increasing the risk of lung cancer.
The U.S. EPA has recommended that structures
exceeding 4.0pCi/L (picoCuries per liter) of radon
should have a radon mitigation system installed to
reduce the occupant's exposure levels.  These
systems cost the average homeowner between $800
and $1000.
Radon is classified by the U.S. Government as a
Group A carcinogen.  Other substances classified as
Group A carcinogens include mustard gas, tobacco
smoke, asbestos, benzene and vinyl chloride
The only way to tell if a
structure has elevated levels
of radon is to have it tested.
View the EPA map of
Michigan for estimated
radon levels by county
Health Effects

Persons exposed to radon will have no immediate symptoms.

Based on an updated Assessment of Risk for Radon in Homes,
radon in indoor
air is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the
United States every year
. Smokers are at higher risk of developing
Radon-induced lung cancer. The only health effect which has been definitively linked
with radon exposure is lung cancer. Lung cancer would usually occur years (5-25) after
exposure. There is no evidence that other respiratory diseases, such as asthma, are
caused by radon exposure and there is no evidence that children are at any greater risk
of radon induced lung cancer than adults.
Lifetime Risk of Lung Cancer Death (per person) from
Radon Exposure in Homes
What to Do
Never Smokers
Current Smokers (c)
General Population
20 pCi/L
36 out of 1,000
26 out of 100
11 out of 100
Install a mitigation system
10 pCi/L
18 out of 1,000
15 out of 100
56 out of 1,000
Install a mitigation system
8 pCi/L
15 out of 1,000
12 out of 100
45 out of 1,000
Install a mitigation system
4 pCi/L
73 out of 10,000
62 out of 1,000
23 out of 1,000
Install a mitigation system
2 pCi/L
37 out of 10,000
32 out of 1,000
12 out of 1,000
Consider fixing if between 2
and 4 pCi/L
1.3 pCi/L
23 out of 10,000
20 out of 1,000
73 out of 10,000
Reducing radon levels below
2 pCi/L is difficult
0.4 pCi/L
73 out of 100,000
64 out of 10,000
23 out of 10,000
Reducing radon levels below
2 pCi/L is difficult
(a)  Assumes constant lifetime exposure in homes at these levels.
(b)  Estimates are subject to uncertainties as discussed in Chapter VIII of the risk assessment.(
(c)  Note:  BEIR VI did not specify excess relative risks for current smokers.
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