QUINCY, IL (WGEM) - January is Radon Action Month in Illinois.
According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, radon gas has been found in nearly 40% of Illinois homes tested.
Home inspection experts in Quincy said when radon gas comes up through the foundation of a home, it’s colorless and odorless, which makes it hard homeowners to detect.
According to the EPA, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths after smoking cigarettes.
The gas is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S.
“I would say anywhere from 60-65 percent of the homes I test come back with an elevated level. They recommend anything over 4.0 to be remediated and it doesn’t take much to get to 4," said David Zehnle, Quincy Homepro Inspections owner
Experts recommend getting your home tested for radon every two years because radon levels can change quickly.
If you’re looking to test your home for radon, you have a couple options.
The first, is an at-home test. Experts said these tests can be helpful, but they’re not always the best option.
David Zehnle, Quincy Homepro Inspections owner says only a home inspection expert can paint the full picture of your homes risk levels. Experts also say those with newer built homes shouldn’t discount their risk of radon exposure.
“It doesn’t matter. A new home could have radon. It seeps through the concrete. You can’t stop it. The only way to get it out is to remediate it," said David Zehnle, Quincy Homepro Inspections owner.
Zehnle says Radon is more commonly found in older homes, where cracks in the concrete make it easier for radon to seep into the home.
And experts said the winter months are the best time to get your home tested, because radon can come in through the foundation of a warm home more easily than the frozen ground outside.