Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that can cause lung cancer. It occurs naturally when uranium breaks down to radium which in turn breaks down to form radon. Radon is released into the soil and easily enters your home through the foundation and well water. It can build up to dangerous levels inside houses, schools, and other buildings. The only way to know if you have radon is to test.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after tobacco smoke. Radon kills nearly 21,000 people each year, more than 800 of them in Georgia. Smokers are at an even higher risk of radon-induced lung cancer than nonsmokers by 7%.
The following map indicates areas at risk for higher levels of radon. Please note that this data is based on testkits distributed through our program between 2003 - 2014. There was insufficient data to determine the radon levels for counties colored grey. This map only serves as an approximation of the likelihood that your home contains higher radon levels.
Testing is the only way to know if you have dangerous levels of radon.
If you live in any other state, visit EPA Radon information.
Above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) is high. If your test result is over 4 pCI/L it is recommended that you test again with either a short-term (2-7 days) or long-term (3-12 months) device. If the second test result is over 4 pCi/L you should hire a professional to fix the problem.
If the radon level in your home is over 4 pCi/L, you should consider getting your home mitigated. Mitigation is the technique used to remove the radon in your home. You should you use a registered mitigator and obtain estimates from more than one professional. In the EPA Consumer Guide to Radon Reduction, on pages 4 - 6, there is a helpful checklist on how to select a radon mitigation professional.
If your drinking water comes from a well or other underground source, then it could contain radon. If you have a private well, we recommend testing your air first and if that result is high, then test your drinking water. For more information on radon in water visit the EPA website.
Thanks to funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, UGA now offers testing for radon in water. For more information on testing for radon in your water, contact Dr. Uttam Saha with the UGA Agricultural & Environmental Services Laboratories. (Radon in water sampling instructions and submission form)
The UGA Radon Education Program is supported by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) through funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency State Indoor Radon Grant Program.