High radon levels can put your health at risk

Nearly 40 percent of Idaho homes tested for radon showed unsafe levels, which can cause serious illness for people. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is a naturally occurring gas that you can’t see, smell or taste.

“Radon is definitely a big problem because it’s so prevalent,” said Jim Faust, Radon Program manager at the Department of Health and Welfare. “The good news is that it is a fixable problem. Every home in Idaho should be tested so we can protect ourselves and our families.” 

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes 21,000 deaths in the United States each year. Radon is a radioactive gas that invades homes and buildings from the soil through crawlspaces, foundation cracks and openings.

The only way to know if your home has high levels of radon is to test for it. The highest levels are found in winter, when homes are closed up tight. This makes it the best time to test for the deadly gas.

Testing is easy, simple and inexpensive. Every home can be fixed for high radon levels. Test kits are $9.95 and are available at www.radonidaho.org. The kit includes the test with easy-to-follow instructions, shipping costs and lab analysis. You can also call the Idaho CareLine at 211 to order the kit.


Idaho Radon Rates
City % of Tested Homes
with Unsafe Levels
Blackfoot 41%
Boise 36%
Challis 58%
Coeur d’Alene 68%
Idaho Falls 41%
McCall 32%
Mountain Home 48%
Orofino 30%
Pocatello 50%
Rexburg 57%
Salmon 52%
Sun Valley 61%

The Radon Program is part of the Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Public Health. Learn more about radon in Idaho at

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