Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the number one indoor air pollutant in the country.

Average outdoor concentration of radon in Maine is 0.4 to 0.5 pCi/L

1 in 4 houses has a Radon problem in the country
1 in 3 will have a problem in Maine

The following is an updated chart of the lifetime risk of lung cancer death per person from radon exposure in homes (excerpted from the updated radon risk assessment):

Radon Level (a) Lifetime Risk of Lung Cancer Death
from Radon exposure in Homes (b)
pCi/L Never
Smokers (c)
General Population
20 3.6% 26% 11%
10 1.8% 15% 5.6%
8 1.5% 12% 4.5%
4 0.73% 6.2% 2.3%
2 0.37% 3.2% 1.2%
1.25 0.23% 2% 0.73%
0.4 0.07% 0.64% 0.23%
(a) Assumes constant lifetime exposure in homes at these levels
(b) Estimates are subject to uncertainties as discusses in Chapter VIII of the risk assessment
(c) Note: BEIR VI did not specify excess relative risks for current smokers

Radon will dissolve in water as it attempts to escape the atmosphere. The problem arises when you are running the water in your shower, dishwasher or other water-using appliance. The Radon gas escapes from the water quickly and becomes a pollutant in your home's air.


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