Land Protection Division
These pages last modified January 21, 2011
Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas. Radon is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Radon occurs in most, if not all soils on earth. Radon is a radioactive decay product of radium-226. Any underlying soil or rock containing radium will produce this soil gas. Gases move through soil by diffusion and will either enter the atmosphere or buildings on the surface of soil and rock. Radon is essentially harmless at levels found in the atmosphere in most locations, but can become a health hazard if it is trapped and concentrated in homes and other buildings. The only known health hazard of radon is an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
The risk of lung cancer increases as the concentration and amount of time breathing those levels increases; the higher the concentration, the higher the risk. There are no known acute symptoms or risks from breathing radon gas, but breathing higher concentrations of radon over years increases your risk of developing lung cancer. If you smoke, your risk of developing lung cancer significantly increases when elevated levels of radon are present in indoor air. If you smoke, stopping smoking will greatly reduce your risk of lung cancer from radon.
There are no Federal or Oklahoma State Regulations that require radon tests. If you test your home, and the test results determine higher levels of radon, you are not required to perform any mitigation to lower those levels. Testing and mitigation of radon levels are voluntary.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established an action level of 4 picoCuries per liter of air. This level, or concentration, is not an enforceable standard, but is a level at which the EPA recommends that you perform some mitigation. The only way to know the levels of radon in your home, school, or other buildings is to test for indoor radon concentrations.
The most widely used testing device is an activated charcoal canister. The test is a simple, straightforward process. Exposing the canister to indoor air for 48 hours and sending the canister to a lab for analysis is all you need to do for the test.
If you want to test your home for radon, you may find these testing devices or others at some hardware stores. You may also obtain the test canister, instructions, and analysis from the DEQ for $28.04. To order your radon test kit, telephone (405) 702-1152.
The DEQ joins with the EPA and the Office of the Surgeon General in recommending that all homes below the third floor test for radon concentrations. You can only assess your risk if you know the concentration of radon you breathe.
Find a Radon Professional
EPA Radon Home Page
|Division Director:||Scott Thompson|
Department of Environmental Quality
Land Protection Division
PO Box 1677
Oklahoma City, OK 73101-1677
|General Phone Number:||405-702-5100|
|General Fax Number:||405-702-5101 NOTICE : No unsolicited advertisements are accepted at any of these fax numbers, per 47 CFR 64.1200(a)(3)(ii)(B)|