Radon Overview

9/14/2015

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year; about 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. Most people are exposed from naturally occurring radon decay releasing radon gas into their homes.

Radon bottleThirty-four states have enacted statutes addressing radon. Twenty-nine states require disclosure of radon hazards upon sale of a house; 25 require radon inspectors and/or mitigators be licensed. Nine states require new construction be radon-resistant, and another 23 have local codes mandating radon resistant new construction. In 27 states, radon is part of their building code.

Since radon is found in every part of the country, most states have some regulation, though certain states—such as Iowa and North Dakota—have a higher incidence of radon than others.

California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota and Oregon require all new homes be built following radon-resistant new construction (RRNC) standards. New Jersey, Virginia and Washington require RRNC to new housing in high radon areas. Florida, Maine and Rhode Island have voluntary RRNC codes that may be adopted by local jurisdictions.

Radon Map

Radon is present everywhere in the United States. Levels of the gas differ from state to state, but it is particularly high in North Dakota and Iowa. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Map of Radon Zones shows the potential for elevated radon levels for each county in the United States.

Radon Legislation and Statutes

States have taken action to address the threat of radon to their constituents. The following table shows legislation lawmakers have passed to actively address the concerns of radon in their states.

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or type the state name.

State Radon Statutes
State Statute Summary
Alaska Ak Stat. § 34.70.010-.200 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Arizona ARS § 33-423. Disclosure; reports; indemnity; applicability; violation; classification A disclosure report pursuant to this section may be provided to the buyer or seller of real property by a third party as authorized by the buyer or seller; Radon gas potential zones as shown on current maps issued by the United States environmental protection agency
California Establishment of certification requirements Cal.Health & Safety Code §106750 to §106795 This article establishes requirements for radon certification. No person may provide radon services for the general public, or represent or advertise that he or she may provide radon services unless that person meets both of the following requirements: (1) Successfully completes the National Radon Measurement Proficiency Program of the National Environmental Health Association or the National Radon Safety Board Certified Radon Professional Program. (2) Submits to the department a copy of certificate demonstrating successful completion of either program.
California

Radon levels in new buildings; assessment and mitigation plans; building permits; cost-effective controls; operative effect of section Cal. Health & Safety Code §105430

If model construction standards and techniques for controlling radon levels within new buildings are developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department of Health Services may adopt the standards and incorporate them into any radon assessment and mitigation plan which may be completed by the department and which becomes operative after Jan. 1, 1990, unless the Department of Housing and Community Development adopts radon mitigation building standards, in which case the State Department of Health Services shall adopt no standards other than the standards adopted by the Department of Housing and Community Development.
Colorado Hazardous Air Pollutants Co. Rev. Stat. §25-1.5-101 Radon Decay products are declared to be hazardous air pollutants and are subject to regulation by the commission.
Colorado Deceptive Trade Practices Co. Rev. Stat. §6-1-105 A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when the knowingly makes a false representation as to the results of a radon test or the need for radon mitigation
Connecticut Contractors performing radon mitigation Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-420 No person shall hold himself or herself out to be a contractor or salesperson without first obtaining a certificate of registration from the commissioner as provided in this chapter, except that an individual or partner, or officer or director of a corporation registered as a contractor shall not be required to obtain a salesperson's certificate. No certificate shall be given to any person who holds himself or herself out to be a contractor that performs radon mitigation unless such contractor provides evidence, satisfactory to the commissioner, that the contractor is certified as a radon mitigator by the National Radon Safety Board or the National Environmental Health Association.
Connecticut Regulations establishing radon measurement requirements and procedures for evaluating radon in indoor air and reducing radon in public schools Conn. Gen. Stat. §19a-37b The Department of Public Health shall adopt regulations pursuant to Chapter 54 to establish radon measurement requirements and procedures for evaluating radon in indoor air and reducing elevated radon gas levels when detected in public schools.
Connecticut Residential condition reports Conn. Gen Stat. § 20-327b Except as otherwise provided in this section, each person who offers residential property in the state for sale, exchange or for lease with option to buy, shall provide a written residential condition report that addresses environmental matters including radon to the prospective purchaser at any time prior to the prospective purchaser's execution of any binder, contract to purchase, option or lease containing a purchase option.
Delaware Radiation Control 16 Del. Code 7401 Requires the state to survey radon concentrations indoors to determine elevated radon levels and advise the General Assembly of those potential health effects as are set forth in publications and guidelines of the federal government.
Delaware  Radon testing and disclosure 6 Del.C. § 2572A Every purchaser of any interest in residential real property on which a residential dwelling exists shall be notified that said property may present the potential for exposure to radon
Florida Fl. Stat. §404.056 The department may certify persons who perform radon gas or radon progeny measurements, including sample collection, analysis, or interpretation of such measurements, and who perform mitigation of buildings for radon gas or radon progeny, and shall collect a fee for such certification. Before performing radon measurement or radon mitigation services, including collecting samples, performing analysis, or interpreting measurement results, a certified individual must own, be employed by, or be retained as a consultant to a certified radon measurement or certified radon mitigation business.
Florida Fl. Stat. § 553.98 The department shall be provided funds for activities incidental to the development and implementation of the building codes for radon-resistant buildings and for such other building code-related activities as directed by the Legislature.
Illinois  Radon Industry Licensing Act 420 ILCS 44/1 to 44/99 The General Assembly declares that it is in the interest of the people of Illinois to establish a comprehensive program for determining the extent to which radon and radon progeny are present in dwellings and other buildings in Illinois at concentrations that pose a potential risk to the occupants and for determining measures that can be taken to reduce and prevent such risk.  The agency may undertake projects to determine whether and to what extent radon and radon progeny are present in dwellings and other buildings, to determine to what extent their presence constitutes a risk to public health, and to determine what measures are effective in reducing and preventing the risk to public health.
Illinois License requirement 420 ILCS 44/25 No person shall sell a device or perform a service for compensation to detect the presence of radon or radon progeny in the indoor atmosphere, perform laboratory analysis, or perform a service to reduce the presence of radon or radon progeny in the indoor atmosphere unless the person has been licensed by the agency.
Illinois Radon Awareness Act 420 ILCS 46/1 to 46/99 Provides for radon testing and disclosure.
Illinois Radon Resistent Construction Act 420 ILCS 52/1 to 52/99 All new residential construction in this state shall include passive radon resistant construction.
Indiana Radon Gas Ind. Code § 16-41-38.1 to 16-41-38.9 The state department shall adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 to establish and operate programs for the certification of a person engaged in(1) testing for radon gas in buildings or on areas of land; or (2) abatement of radon gas in buildings. In establishing standards and requirements under this chapter, the state department shall use any relevant standards or requirements concerning radon gas established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Iowa Radon Testing and Abatement Program I.C.A. 136B.1 to 136B.6 The department shall establish programs and adopt rules for the certification of people who test for the presence of radon gas and radon progeny in buildings, the credentialing of people abating the level of radon in buildings, and standards for radon abatement systems. Following the establishment of the certification and credentialing programs by the department, a person who is not certified, as appropriate, shall not test for the presence of radon gas and radon progeny, and a person who is not credentialed, as required, shall not perform abatement measures. This section does not apply to a person performing the testing or abatement on a building that the person owns, or to a person performing testing or abatement without compensation.
Kansas Radon Measurement and Mitigation K.S.A. § 48-16a05 The secretary shall establish a certification program for certified persons performing radon tests or mitigation in the state.The secretary shall have no authority to adopt rules, regulations, standards or guidelines for the acceptable or permissible level of radon gas concentrations in residential or commercial structures that are more stringent, restrictive or expansive than the applicable federal standards or guidelines adopted or approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Kansas Residential Sales; information regarding radon K.S.A §58-3078a Each contract for the sale of residential real property shall contain the following language: “Every buyer of residential real property is notified that the property may present exposure to dangerous concentrations of indoor radon gas that may place occupants at risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer. Radon, a class-A human carcinogen, is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause overall. Kansas law requires sellers to disclose any information known to the seller that shows elevated concentrations of radon gas in residential real property.
Kentucky Radon Measurement, Mitigation, Laboratory Analysis, and Quality Control Ky. Rev. Stat. § 211.9101 to 211.9135 Creates a radon measurement, mitigation, laboratory analysis and quality control program within the state department of health.
Kentucky Cabinet's role as radon control agency for Commonwealth Ky. Rev. Stat. § 211.9135 The cabinet shall develop and conduct programs for evaluation and control of activities related to radon including laboratory analyses, mitigation, and measurements. The cabinet shall issue certificates and certificate renewals to qualified persons; design and administer, or participate in the design and administration of educational and research programs to ensure citizens of the commonwealth are informed about the health risks associated with radon; promote the control of radon in the commonwealth.
Maine Radon Registration Act 22 M.R.S.A. Ch. 165 § 771-784 Pursuant to the act, all people or companies located within or outside the state of Maine that intend to conduct radon testing services, evaluation of radon detection devices, radon mitigation consultation, or radon mitigation services in the state of Maine shall be registered by the department. No radon service provider may offer or provide these services unless registered with the department. The requirements of these rules are continuing requirements.
Maine Radon Testing 14 M.R.S.A. § 6030-D Unless a mitigation system has been installed in that residential building, every 10 years thereafter when requested by a tenant, a landlord or other person who on behalf of a landlord enters into a lease or tenancy at will agreement for a residential building shall have the air of the residential building tested for the presence of radon. Within 30 days of receiving results of a test, a landlord or other person who on behalf of a landlord for a residential building shall provide written notice, as prescribed by the Department of Health and Human Services, to a tenant regarding the presence of radon in the building.
Maine Required disclosures 33 M.R.S.A. § 173 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Maryland Testing for Radon Md. Env. Code §8-305 Provides for the Department of Environment to adopt regulations regarding radon testing facilities. Requires the training and certification of persons engaged in radon testing.
Maryland Single family homes; mandatory disclosure Md. Real Prop. Code Ann. § 10-702 The residential property disclosure statement shall disclose those items (including radon) that, to carry out the provisions of this section, the State Real Estate Commission requires to be disclosed about the physical condition of the property.
Michigan Disclosures; form M.C.L. § 565.957 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Minnesota Radon Awareness Act M.S.A. § 144.496 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property; requires a radon warning statement: "The Minnesota Department of Health strongly recommends that ALL homebuyers have an indoor radon test performed prior to purchase or taking occupancy, and recommends having the radon levels mitigated if elevated radon concentrations are found. Elevated radon concentrations can easily be reduced by a qualified, certified, or licensed, if applicable, radon mitigator."
Minnesota Minnesota Radon Licensing Act M.S.A. §144.4961 The commissioner of health shall adopt rules for licensure and enforcement of applicable laws and rules relating to indoor radon in dwellings and other buildings, with the exception of newly constructed Minnesota homes;  The commissioner shall coordinate, oversee, and implement all state functions in matters concerning the presence, effects, measurement, and mitigation of risks of radon in dwellings and other buildings. The professionals, companies, and laboratories addressing radon must submit applications for licenses, system tags, and any other reporting required under this section on forms prescribed by the commissioner.
Minnesota Radon code M.S.A. § 326B.106 Subd. 6 The commissioner of labor and industry shall adopt rules for radon control as part of the State Building Code for all new residential buildings. These rules shall incorporate the radon control methods found in the International Residential Code appendix as the model language, with necessary amendments to coordinate with the other adopted construction codes in Minnesota.
Montana Radon Control Act Mt. Code §75-3-601 to 607 Requires the Department of Environmental Quality initiate and administer a program designed to educate and inform the public concerning radon gas and radon progeny; ensure radon testing and mitigation professionals pass an EPA exam, and requires disclosure of  radon tests before sale of a property.
Nebraska Radiation Control Act Neb. Rev. Stat. §71-3501 et seq. It is the policy of the state to maximize the protection practicable for the citizens of Nebraska from radon or its decay products by establishing requirements for (a) appropriate qualifications for persons providing measurement and mitigation services of radon or its decay products and (b) radon mitigation system installations. The department may establish an alternative maximum contaminant level for radon in drinking water by establishing a multimedia radon mitigation program as provided under federal law which may include public education, testing, training, technical assistance, remediation grants, and loan or incentive programs.  The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations establishing education, experience, training, examination, and continuing competency requirements for radon measurement specialists and radon mitigation specialists.
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. § 125:9 Requires the department of health and human services to investigate complaints of poor indoor air quality and conduct inspections of buildings and dwellings, upon request, for the presence of radon or other health hazards present in indoor air; and provide education, technical consultation, and recommendations for abatement of such health hazards in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire cooperative extension.
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. § 310-A:189-a Any person engaged in the design or installation of airborne radon mitigation devices in New Hampshire shall hold a current certification from either the National Radon Proficiency Program offered by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, Inc., or the National Radon Safety Board.
New Hampshire Notification Required; Radon Gas and Lead Paint N.H. Rev. Stat. §477:4-a Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
New Jersey Radiation Protection Act N.J.S.A. 26:2D 59 - 63 Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to submit a report to the legislature on the a study concerning the dangers posed to the public health, safety, and welfare by the presence of radon gas and radon progeny in residential dwellings, schools, and public buildings Department of Health shall conduct an epidemiologic study of cancer and the presence of radon gas and radon progeny in residential dwellings and shall maintain a voluntary registry of persons at risk of radiogenic lung cancer. The two agencies shall also coordinate to establish a public information and education program to inform the public of the potential health effects of the presence of radon gas and radon progeny in residential dwellings.
New Jersey Radiation Protection Act N.J.S.A. 26:2D 70 to 72 Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to establish a certification program for radon testing and mitigation professionals.
New Jersey Radon hazard code standards N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 Requires the State Uniform Construction Code Act to require Radon Resistent New Construction.
New Jersey Radon hazard code standards N.J.S.A. 52:27D-123a to 123e Requires the commissioner of Community Affairs to adopt a radon hazard code to ensure schools and residential buildings are constructed to minimize radon gas and radon progeny; provides for testing of buildings. Requires all new construction of schools or residential buildings follow the radon hazard code standards.
New Jersey Radon testing; public school buildings N.J.S.A. 18A:20-40 Requires every public school building used as a public school in the state shall be tested for the presence of radon gas or radon progeny at least once every five years. If the public school has been tested less than five years before the effective date of this act, then the test shall be performed within five years of that test and once every five years thereafter.
New Jersey Residential property contaminated with radon gas or radon progeny; inspection and testing; removal; certification; costs N.J.S.A. 13:1K-14 Requires the Department of Environmental Protection, upon a determination after inspection and testing of any residential property, provide the owner of the property with written certification noting any radon gas or radon progeny contamination present.
New York N.Y. Real Prop. § 462 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
North Carolina Required disclosures N.C.G.S.A. § 47E-4 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Ohio Radon Ohio Rev. Stat. §3723.01 et seq. Requires the director of health to license radon testers, mitigation specialists, and mitigation contractors; establish training programs; collect and disseminate information relating to radon in this state; draft rules to protect the public from radon hazards.
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code §5302.30 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. §455.365 The Building Codes Structures Board and the Residential and Manufactured Structures Board shall adopt design and construction standards for mitigating radon levels in new residential buildings that are identified under the structural specialty code as Group R-2 or R-3 buildings and new public buildings. In adopting the standards, the boards shall give consideration to any standards recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for radon mitigation systems in buildings.
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. §105.848 The Real Estate Agency shall provide information to alert potential buyers of one and two family dwellings to issues concerning radon in the dwellings. The information may include, but need not be limited to, radon hazard potential and methods of testing for and mitigating radon. The agency may collaborate with public or private entities to provide the information.
Oregon Ch. 729, § 1. Dissemination of information related to elevated levels of radon to state school districts Oregon Health Authority shall disseminate information related to elevated levels of radon to each school district in this state
Oregon Ch. 729, § 2. School district to develop plan to test schools for elevated levels of radon Requires school districts in the state to design and implement program to mitigate radon hazards.
Pennsylvania Radon Certification Act Pa. Stat. 63 § 2001 to 2014 Requires the Department of Environmental Resources to establish a program for the certification of persons who test for the presence of radon gas and radon progeny in buildings and on building lots.
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-20.8-2 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Rhode Island Radon Control R.I. Gen. Laws §23-61-1 to 23-61-12 The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health and public interest by establishing a comprehensive program to reduce exposure to radon/radon progeny levels in public and high priority buildings and to ensure that all radon/radon progeny mitigation activity in these buildings is conducted only by appropriately trained and licensed/certified personnel. The goal of this chapter is to reduce the incidence of lung cancer due to radon/radon progeny exposure in Rhode Island to the greatest extent feasible.
South Carolina S.C. Code 1976 § 27-50-40 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws §43-4-38; 44 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Tennessee Tenn. Code § 66-5-210 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-2-121 Each LEA is encouraged to conduct an inspection and evaluation program which may include testing for radon, for its facilities.
Texas V.T.C.A., Property Code § 5.008. Seller's Disclosure of Property Condition Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
Utah Radon Awareness Campaign UT Code Ann. § 26-7-7 The Department of Health shall, in consultation with the Division of Radiation Control, develop a statewide electronic awareness campaign to educate the public on the existence and prevalence of radon gas in buildings and structures, the health risks associated with radon gas, options for radon gas testing, and options for radon gas remediation.
Utah Utah Code Ann. §58-55-305 h)(i)(ii)(G) Requires the installation, repair, or replacement of a radon mitigation system or a soil depressurization system to be performed by a licensed contractor.
Virginia Powers and duties of the Board VA Code Ann. § 32.1-229 Establish a program  effective regulation of sources of radiation for the protection of the public health and safety, including a program of education and technical assistance relating to radon that is targeted to those areas of the Commonwealth known to have high radon levels; and to promote the orderly regulation of radiation.
Virginia Companies listed as proficient to perform radon screening, testing or mitigation; compliance Powers and duties of the Board VA Code Ann. § 32.1-229.01 No person shall conduct or offer to conduct any radon screening, testing or mitigation in the commonwealth unless he has been listed as proficient by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Radon Measurement Proficiency Program of the National Environmental Health Association or the National Radon Safety Board Certified Radon Professional Program or any other proficiency program acceptable to the Board of Health to offer such screening, testing or mitigation
Virginia VA Code Ann. § 15 2-2280 Requires state construction codes to adopt Appendix F of the International Code Council in areas of high radon levels.
Washington Indoor air quality--Interim and final requirements for maintenance West's RCWA 19.27.190 Requires the state building code council to establish requirements for indoor air quality, including requirements to inhibit indoor radon gas from exceeding health standards.
Washington Format of disclosure statement--Minimum information West's RCWA 64.06.020 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
West Virginia Licensure of Radon Mitigators, Testers, Contractors and Laboratories W. Va. Code, §16-34-1 to 34 Requires department of health to ensure the the training and licensing of radon testers, mitigation specialists, mitigation contractors and radon laboratories.
West Virginia Air quality in new schools W. Va. Code, § 18-9E-3 Upon notice from the school building authority that a new public school building is occupied, the division of health shall perform radon testing in the school within the first year after occupancy and at least every five years thereafter.
Wisconsin W.S.A. §254.34(h) Requires the state to develop and disseminate current radon information to the news media, builders, realtors and the general public; coordinate a program of measuring radon gas accumulation; work with staff of local health departments to perform home surveys and diagnostic measurements and develop mitigation strategies for homes with elevated radon gas levels; develop training materials and conduct training of staff of local health departments, building contractors and others in radon diagnosis and mitigation methods; and develop standards of performance for the regional radon centers.
Wisconsin Real Estate Disclosure Form W.S.A. 709.03 Requires the disclosure of known radon hazards upon sale of the property.
District of Columnia DC ST § 28-4201 to 4203 No person or company shall conduct or offer to conduct radon screening, testing, or mitigation in the District for a fee unless the person who performs the service has been listed as proficient by the Environmental Protection Agency to offer radon screening, testing, or mitigation services or has received a certificate of proficiency from an organization approved by the Mayor to offer radon screening, testing, or mitigation services.

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