Is there radon in my neighborhood?

 
 

Many counties in central Ohio have average indoor radon levels greater tahn the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Averages recorded in Franklin county are 6.0 to 8.0 pCi/L, and Licking county is over 8.0 pCi/L.

Any home can have elevated radon levels, and even homes next to each other can have different levels of indoor radon due to construction and geographic difference. Every home should be tested, old or new, and even if it already has a radon remediation system in place.

Average indoor radon concentrations by ZIP Code

Indoor radon levels in Columbus and surrounding ZIP codes average higher than the EPA recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L.

ZIP CodeCity>Number of TestsAverage
43215Columbus3196.32 pCi/L
43212Columbus3916.44 pCi/L
43221Columbus1,1008.97 pCi/L
43220Columbus1,1357.79 pCi/L
43017Dublin1,97710.5 pCi/L
43026Hilliard1,0769.04 pCi/L

Source: Average indoor radon concentrations by Ohio ZIP Code

Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the US is estimated to have a radon level of 4 pCi/L or more. You cannot predict radon levels inside a house based on state, local, or neighborhood radon measurements. Testing is the only way to know if you or your family are at risk from radon.

Ohio radon potential zones map, showing central Ohio with high radon gas levels.

Radon is a naturally-occurring gas produced by the natural, radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the country. According to US Geological Service maps, Ohio has relatively high concentrations of uranium due to glacial deposits and shale. As this dissolved uranium content in rocks and soils undergoes radioactive decay, it produces new radionuclides including thorium, radium, and radon gas.

Radon is ubiquitous, usually in small amounts, in rock and soil and can be carried in water and air. Some rock types have the potential to produce higher than average amounts of radon gas.

You can get an idea as to how concerned you should be about radon in your house by learning about the geology of your home site and its radon potential. If your house is in an area with a high potential for radon, then chances are that your house may have an indoor radon problem. However, the way a house is built can increase the risk, so even in areas of low radon potential, some houses can have unhealthy radon levels.

All homes should be tested for elevated levels of radon, regardless of EPA zone designation.

The EPA recommends that every home be tested for radon. Changes to your home such as additions, remodeling, or even a new roof or siding can change the level of radon inside your home.

View of a neighborhood in central Ohio with high radon levels.

View of a neighborhood in central Ohio with high radon levels.

 
 

Any home can have high radon, the only way to know is to test.

Include a radon test with your home inspection for any house you consider buying.

Schedule a Radon Test Now for $150 What is Radon Gas?
 
 
 

Radon Information

Uranium emitting alpha particles in a cloud chamber

What is radon gas?


Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, radioactive gas. Radon comes from the decay of radioactive uranium that can be found in small amounts in rocks and soil throughout nature. In areas with disturbed earth, and loose fill, like when a home is built, radon escapes from the soil.

Radon gas exposure is the number one cause of cancer for non-smokers, even greater than second-hand smoke. Most people are exposed to radon gas inside their own homes, and this is their greatest exposure to natural ionizing radiation.

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Radon Done radon test in progress door hanger. Homes undergoing radon testing must have all windows and doors closed for the duration of the test

Radon gas in Ohio

Central Ohio has relatively high natural concentrations of uranium from glacial deposits and shale, which during radioactive decay, produces radium and radon.

The EPA’s current radon action level is four picocuries of radon per liter of air (4 pCi/L). Most counties in central Ohio have high potential for radon, with predicted average indoor greater than the EPA action level. According to one study cited by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Department of Geological Survey, 38% of Ohio’s 88 counties had average indoor radon levels above 4.0 pCi/L, but Licking County’s average was above 8.0 pCi/L. Seven Ohio counties—Carroll, Fairfield, Franklin, Harrison, Knox, Pickaway, and Ross—had average indoor Radon concentrations between 6 and 8 pCi/L.

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How does radon get into my home?

Radon is odorless, colorless, and tasteless; it is an inert noble gas. Radon is a naturally-occurring, carcinogenic, radioactive gas produced by the decay of radium in the soil. Radon gas exposure is the greatest single source of natural, ionizing, background radiation, only surpassed by medical radiation.

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