cross section of a houseRadon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that causes cancer. It’s colorless, odorless and enters buildings from the ground.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco smoking. Among smokers, high radon levels greatly increase lung cancer risk.

Radon can build up when we keep buildings closed during cold or hot weather. Radon tends to be highest in the parts of buildings closest to the ground.

Radon Testing

A radon test is the only way to find out if there is radon in your home. If the radon level is high, you can take action to lower it.

Radon levels in Multnomah County are about twice the U.S. average. All homes and apartments that have a basement or ground-floor living space should be tested.

Inexpensive, short-term tests are available from many home improvement and hardware stores. Or order online: American Lung Association

To test your home, you’ll need to keep it closed for a few days. So it’s best to test during the cooler times of the year. Follow the instructions carefully for accurate results.

If You Rent

Radon levels tend to be highest near ground level, so the lowest apartments in a building are the most critical ones to test.

If your radon test results are high, there are things you can do to bring the levels down. But your landlord is responsible for a permanent solution. Ask your landlord to help. It may be as simple as making sure foundation vents are open.

Radon is not regulated in Oregon. Landlords are not required to do anything about radon. If you rent and your home has a high radon level and your landlord will not take action, you can protect your family by moving as soon as you can.

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