Environmental Protection Agency
    Extracts from EPA’s Radiation Protection Program:     (Fall 2006)

    Exposure to Radon Causes Lung Cancer In Non-smokers and Smokers Alike
    Lung cancer kills thousands of Americans every year. The untimely deaths of
    Peter Jennings and Dana Reeve have raised public awareness about lung cancer,
    especially among people who have never smoked. Smoking, radon, and
    secondhand smoke are the leading causes of lung cancer.   Although lung cancer
    can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest for those with cancer.  From
    the time of diagnosis, between 11 and 15 percent of those afflicted will live beyond
    five years, depending upon demographic factors.  In many cases lung cancer can
    be prevented; this is especially true for radon.

    The U.S. Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, Issues National Health Advisory on
The Surgeon General of the United States issued a Health Advisory in
January, 2005 warning Americans about the health risk from exposure to
radon in indoor air.  The Nation’s Chief Physician urged Americans to test
their homes to find out how much radon they might be breathing.  Dr.
Carmona also stressed the need to remedy the problem as soon as
possible when the radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.  Dr. Carmona noted that
more than 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer each year.  
Read the Surgeon General's.
EPA Articles

    Studies Find Direct Evidence Linking Radon in Homes to Lung Cancer:

    (January 29, 2005 and March 16, 2005) Two studies show definitive evidence of an association
    between residential radon exposure and lung cancer.  Two studies, a North American study and a
    European study, both combined data from several previous residential studies.  These two studies
    go a step beyond earlier findings.  They confirm the radon health risks predicted by occupational
    studies of underground miner’s who breathed radon for a period of years.  Early in the debate about
    radon-related risks, some researchers questioned whether occupational studies could be used to
    calculate risks from exposure to radon in the home environment.  “These findings effectively end any
    doubts about the risks to Americans of having radon in their homes,” said Tom Kelly, Director of EPA’
    s Indoor Environments Division.  “We know that radon is a carcinogen.  This research confirms that
    breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer.”

  • Read the University of Iowa press release (April 25, 2005) about the North American study at

  • Abstract of the pooling of North American Residential Radon studies

  • Abstract of the pooling of the European Residential Radon studies

    EPA’s Recommended Residential Radon Mitigation Standard of Practice:

    EPA recommends the Standard Practice for Installing Radon Mitigation Systems in Existing Low-
    Rise Residential Buildings* for residential radon mitigation. This voluntary, consensus-based
    standard was developed and issued by the American Society for Testing and Materials International,
    and is identified as ASTM E-2121.

    The Agency first cited ASTM E-2121 in 2003 as a national consensus standard appropriate for
    reducing radon in homes as far as practicable below the national action level of 4 picocuries per liter
    (pCi/L) in indoor air.  As of May 2006, EPA no longer recommends, and will no longer distribute its
    own, superseded Radon Mitigation Standards (EPA 402-R-93-078, Revised April 1994).

    A single free copy of the ASTM E-2121 standard is available from EPA’s National Service Center for
    Environmental Publications: http://yosemite.epa.gov/ncepihom/nsCatalog.nsf/SearchPubs? Open
    form, or the Agency’s IAQ-Info hotline, 1-800-438-4318. Copies of the standard may be purchased
    from ASTMI at http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/index.shtml?E+mystore or from the American
    National Standards Institute (ANSI) at www.ansi.org/

    *E-2121-03 (February 10, 2003), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International; an
    American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved consensus standard.
    If you have questions concerning this policy, contact either Philip Jalbert jalbert.philip@epa.gov or
    Eugene Fisher fisher.eugene@epa.gov.
Link to EPA Testing Advise
TEL: 630-225-7997
Radon Testing
by Illinois Licensed Radon Professionals