Radon

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home. The only way to know if your home has high radon levels is to test it.

Radon test kits can also be purchased from a local hardware store or through a radon testing laboratory such as: Radon Testing Corporation of America, Accustar, AirChek, or EMSL. Tests should cost between $10 and $30.

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas found in soil and rock that gets into the air you breath. It seeps into buildings through cracks in the foundation, walls, and joints. It can get into any type of building--homes, offices, and schools. The greatest risk for exposure is where you spend most of your time – usually at home.

Major Radon Entry Routes

diagram of house and radon entry points
  1. Cracks in concrete slab
  2. Pores and cracks in concrete blocks
  3. Slab-footing joints
  4. Exposed soil, as in sump
  5. Cracks between poured concrete (slab) and blocks
  6. Loose fitting pipes
  7. Water





When to Test for Radon at Home

  • Every five years or every two years if you have a radon mitigation system to make sure it’s working properly.
  • When buying a home and after major renovations. During a real estate transaction, hire a certified radon measurement professional for testing. Be sure that the analysis of the radon test is performed by a company approved through the State's Environmental Laboratory Approval Program.
  • Within 30 days of installing a radon mitigation system.

Find out if radon levels are high in your town.

Understanding Your Test Results

NYS DOH recommends fixing your home if the results of radon tests show levels of 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) or higher. With today's technology, radon levels in most homes can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below. You also may want to consider fixing if the level is between 2 and 4 pCi/L.

Fix a Radon Problem

A radon reduction system can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99% and average cost is about $1,500. If your home has elevated levels of radon, contact a certified radon mitigator. More information is available at the U.S. EPA's Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction.

Building Homes To Keep Radon Out

New construction methods keep radon out of the home by sealing soil gas entry points, by preventing radon gas from entering the home and by venting to release radon gas outdoors. Installing a radon reduction system during construction is easier and less expensive than installing a system after the house is completed. Every new home should be tested, even if it was built to be radon resistant. If radon levels are still at or above 4 pCi/L, a certified mitigator may activate the system by installing a fan.

The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technicians and the American National Standards Institute (AARST/ANSI) have developed National Radon Standards for radon testing and mitigation. These are the currently accepted standards and supersede previous EPA standards for radon.

Find Regional Radon Training Centers for continuing education.

Radon testing firms and mitigators must report testing results to the DOH. View Title 10 NYCRR 16.130 Radon Testing and Reporting for laws and regulations.

For Radon Testing Firms/ELAP Certified Laboratories:

Part 16 of the New York State Sanitary Code requires the reporting of County or Zip Code and number of measurements. You are only required to report the name of the laboratory in cases where the laboratory report the radon results to DOH.

For Radon Mitigators:

Part 16 of the New York State Sanitary Code requires the reporting of County or Zip Code and number of mitigations.

Please email radon@health.ny.gov or call (518) 402-7556 to request the Excel spreadsheet template for reporting your data.

Completed reports can be submitted via:

  • Email to radon@health.ny.gov
  • U.S. Postal Service to:
    Center for Environmental Health
    Bureau of Environmental Radiation Protection
    Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1201
    Albany, New York 12237

You can impact the health of New Yorkers by encouraging radon testing and mitigation, to help reduce the likelihood of radon induced lung cancer. Please consider:

  • Making radon educational materials available in your waiting room.
  • Displaying the "Have You Given Your Home a Radon Checkup?" poster.
  • Including a question about home radon testing on your patient intake form.
  • Scheduling a radon presentation for medical support staff by calling 518-402-7556 or by emailing radon@health.ny.gov.
  • Providing patients with information about how low-cost test kits may be obtained from the Radon Program..
  • Referring patients with more questions to the Radon Program.

These resources may also be helpful:

  • The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, Inc., has developed a new guide for health care providers entitled Reducing the Risk from Radon: Information and Interventions. This guide was designed to furnish health care providers with the information they need to reduce their patients' exposures to radon.
  • The Iowa Cancer Consortium has the Breathing Easier Campaign, which includes videos as well as educational fliers and pamphlets that can be customized for use in your practice. The webpage also has links to other radon resources for physicians.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a radon toolkit which contains graphics and customizable documents designed to educate on the risks of radon exposure.
  • The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has developed a toxicological profile for radon and a Radon Case Study in Environmental Medicine (CSEM) which provides continuing education credits.
  • The Health Physics Society (HPS) is a scientific organization of professionals who specialize in radiation safety. The HPS develops position papers on various radiation topics, including radon.
  • The New York State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan was created by the NYS Cancer Consortium (NYSCC) and is meant as a guide to identify and address the cancer burden in NYS.
  • Federal Radon Action Plan (FRAP) contains current federal government actions to reduce radon risks, and a series of new commitments for future action. These actions include providing resources and support to organizations and individuals and increasing awareness for builders and service industry professionals.
  • The National Radon Action Plan (NRAP) represents a collaborative effort between eleven organizations dedicated to eliminating avoidable radon-induced lung cancer in the United States. Led by the American Lung Association, the national radon workgroup agreed on a framework for action aimed at incorporating radon testing, radon mitigation and radon-resistant construction into systems that govern purchasing, financing, constructing and renovating homes and other buildings.
  • The Cancer Moonshot Reportwas delivered by former Vice President Biden in October 2016. The report summarizes the work of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force since its creation and lays out the Vice President's strategic plan for transforming cancer research and care. The report also includes the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel's identified areas of scientific opportunity.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a Handbook on Indoor Radon.
  • The National Academy of Science, Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VI Committee has published a report on the Health Effects of Exposure to Radon.
  • The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published an Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes, EPA 402-R-03-003.
Environmental Public Health Tracker logo
Track Radon Test Result Data in the Environmental Public Health Tracker. You can view maps, graphs and tables of radon test results in your county.

Radon test results below can be viewed in different formats, charts, and datasets. This information is supported by Health Data NY.

The NYS Radon Task Force was established by Assembly Bill 10774A and Senate Bill 8845A in June 2018 to conduct a comprehensive study on the prevention of human exposure to radon and make recommendations to reduce and minimize exposure to New York State residents. The Council is chaired by the DOH.

Specific items to be addressed include:

  • The need for interagency coordination of public education and outreach and prevention programs
  • The need for training, education and possible licensing of radon services providers
  • Any other related information that the commissioner of health may deem necessary or relevant in carrying out such study of radon in indoor settings

A report of the findings and recommendations of the task force and any proposed legislation necessary to implement such findings shall be filed with the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the minority leader of the senate, and the minority leader of the assembly on or before November 1, 2022.

Please contact radon@health.ny.gov for additional information.

The NYS Radon Task Force consists of the following members:

Name Seat Category
VACANT Governor's Appointee –
Real Estate Representative
George Schambach Governor's Appointee –
Radon Testing & Mitigation Expert
Richard Kornbluth Temporary President of the Senate Appointee
VACANT Speaker of the Senate Appointee
John Addario, Director –
Division of Building Standards & Codes
Secretary of State or Designee
Gary Ginsberg, Director –
Center for Environmental Health
DOH Commissioner or Designee
Selica Grant –
Chief Risk Officer and Special Counsel
DOL Commissioner or Designee
(left July 25, 2022)
Darren Cohen –
Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Strategy and Research
DOL Commissioner or Designee
(appointed July 25, 2022)

PDF Meeting Information:

The New York State Department of Health Radon Program sponsors an annual radon poster contest for children ages 9-14, from September to November 1. The goals are to raise awareness about the harmful effects of elevated levels of indoor radon gas and to increase the number of homes tested for radon. Prizes are a $100 gift card for first place and a $50 gift card for second and third place entries. The NYS winner is submitted to the National Radon Poster contest sponsored by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors.

NYS DOH Resources

US EPA Resources

Additional Resources

  • Central New York Coalition for Healthy Indoor Air
  • Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors