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Home buying

Go Health reminds public about the importance of testing for radon

By Press Release

Press Release:

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year and approximately 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. 

“Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that seeps into your home through cracks in the foundation, walls, and joints. It can be found in well water and in dirt floors. Whether your home has a basement, sits on a slab, is brand-new or old, radon can build up and go undetected. Testing your home can prevent serious health risks” stated Darren Brodie, Environmental Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health).

According to the Lung Association’s State of Lung Cancer Report, an estimated 13.9% of New York radon test results equal or exceed the EPA Action level of 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). 

Nationally, 21.8% of homes are at or above the action level. Through New York State testing, Genesee County has been identified as having a high average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L.

New York State does not require homes to undergo radon testing prior to being sold and awareness about the importance of radon testing among potential homeowners may be limited. 

As a result, it falls on the buyer to ask about the property’s radon test results as part of the sales contract or to request that a radon test be conducted if it has not been completed within the past two years.

Here are some things to consider when negotiating a home sales contract: 

  • Who will conduct the radon test? 
  • What type of test should be done?
  • How will the results be shared?
  • If mitigation is necessary, due to an elevated result, who will pay?

If the home has been tested for radon, find out from the seller, who conducted the test, where in the home the test was taken, and when the test was completed. 

If the home has a radon reduction system already installed, make sure you get all the information about the system from the seller before the final sale.

If you are building a home, be sure to discuss radon-resistant features and costs with your contractor. Your contractor has the opportunity to construct a radon-resistant home easily and economically. 

It is more cost-effective to install radon-resistant features while building a home than to install a radon-reduction system in an existing home.

For more information about radon, contact the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580 x5555 or


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