Radon Awareness Week - January 22-26, 2024

January 22, 2024
Radon Awareness Week poster
Learn more about radon from the US CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/radon/

Odorless and colorless radon gas can be a serious health threat lurking in any Maine home regardless of its age or location. Radon can enter a home through the ground or can dissolve into well water and be released into the air inside a home when water is used. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in Maine, and the number one cause for people who do not smoke. Fortunately, testing and treatment can easily detect and mitigate dangerous radon levels. During Radon Awareness Week families can take these steps to determine the radon level in their home.


Both the air and well water in a home should be tested for radon. Homeowners can purchase a simple test kit through a registered Maine testing lab, or they can hire a registered radon tester. Find out where to buy a test kit and see a list of registered testers at Maineradiationcontrol.org, or call 1-800-232-0842. Remember, testing isn't just a good idea for older homes. It's the only way to determine if a home of any age and in any location has unsafe radon levels. In 2021, only 1 in 3 adults were found to live in households that tested for radon in air. This number varies across the state. Explore radon data for your county. 


If a radon test indicates unsafe levels of radon in a home the issue should be fixed by a registered contractor trained to address radon in air or in well water. Treatment systems can be installed in a home to lower radon levels, and air and water test results should be considered together to determine the best and most cost-effective solution (see this Radon Mitigation info page). One in 6 adults in Maine report having radon in air levels above normal, among those who tested. Of those who found levels above normal, 73% reported having reduced or fixed the problem. But far fewer occupants of rental properties report actions to lower harmful radon levels (45%) compared to residents of owner-occupied homes (75%). 


To ensure that a radon mitigation system is working properly to reduce and maintain levels of radon, the air and well water should be re-tested every two years. Homes should also be re-tested after any major structural changes such as getting a roof replaced, new windows, building an addition or attached garage, or a new heating system. The Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s Maine Tracking Network provides data on radon in air test results at the town, county, and state level. Maine also uses survey data to track the percentage of adults in the state that report testing their air for radon, if a result was elevated, and if the levels were reduced through treatment.

Learn more about the radon data Maine collects and makes available to the public: Go to the radon data