Massachusetts Radon Facts

• Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas responsible for a large portion of the total
radiation exposure to the public in the United States. EPA estimates that approximately
21,000 Americans die each year as a result of radon induced lung cancer.
• Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading
cause of lung cancer among smokers.
• About 1 in 4 homes in Massachusetts (650,000 homes) have potential to exceed the EPA
Action level of 4 picocuries per liter of air.
• About 1% of the 2.6 million Massachusetts homes (about 34,000 homes) have screening
levels of 20 picocuries per liter (5 times the action guide) or more.
• In 1988 the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the US EPA, the Surgeon General of the United States and a number of other national health agencies urged that all homes be tested for radon.
• In 2005 the US Surgeon General reissued the radon warning.

The only way to know if your house has a radon problem is to test. Radon is found in all types of homes both new and old, in every part of Massachusetts.
• The forces which drive radon into a home are strongest during the heating season. Winter is the best time to test because, for most homes, it is the time of year when levels are at their highest.
• EPA has recognized two school districts in the US for “Radon Excellence in Schools”.
Both are in Massachusetts, Belchertown Public Schools was recognized in 2005 for their
comprehensive testing of all schools and addressing radon problems discovered at one
school. The Town of Andover was recognized in 2006 for incorporating radon control
options into a large school construction project and comprehensively testing to assure
performance. Both these communities worked closely with MDPH Radon Staff during the

• For questions about radon testing or mitigation call the Massachusetts Department of
Public Health’s Radon hotline:

Massachusetts Radon Hotline
800 723-6695 (in State only)
413 586-7525 from anyhere