North Carolina Radon Program

National Radon Hotline En Español
1-866-528-3187

Risk for Radon

The North Carolina Radon Program is a program of the NC Radiation Protection Section that works to reduce the incidence of radon-induced lung cancer statewide through education. 

The purpose of the North Carolina Radon Program is to:

  • Increase awareness of the source and health impacts of radon exposure
  • Provide resources that assist North Carolinians with testing indoor radon levels
  • Empower North Carolinians with information on how to lower radon levels

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. An estimated 21,000 people nationally die each year from radon-induced lung cancer. 450 North Carolinians are estimated to die each year due to radon-induced lung cancer. 

Data provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 77 of the100 counties in North Carolina have radon indoor air levels above action level of 4 pCi/L. 

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and chemically inert radioactive gas. It is formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil and water. Testing for radon is the only way to know how much is present in a building. 

Survey data collected through the 2015 and 2019 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System reflects a lack of awareness about radon among historically marginalized communities. 

The North Carolina Radon Program is an education program of the NC Radiation Protection Section that works to reduce the incidence of radon-induced lung cancer statewide. 

    The following map shows the highest level of radon measured in each county. Data for this map was obtained from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Tracking Network website: https://ephtracking.cdc.gov/DataExplorer/

    • Red shade: A county with at least one radon building test that measured at or above 4 picoCuries per Liter of air
    • Orange shade: A county with at least one radon building test that measured between 2 to 3.9 picoCuries per Liter of air
    • Grey shade: A county with at least one radon building test that measured at or below 1.9 picoCuries per Liter of air

    Frequently Asked Questions

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    Yes. All home types should test for radon. This includes condos, town homes, homes with crawl spaces, homes on a slab, manufactured and modular homes, and apartments.

    Probably not. At this time, the EPA does not believe sufficient data exists to conclude that the types of granite commonly used in countertops are significantly increasing indoor radon levels.

    Radon is a gas, radioactive particles, that are drawn into your home through a number of pathways. Buildings are like vacuums, drawing gasses of all sorts inside. As radon is naturally made under your home, then the suction of the building draws radon inside.

    Yes. There are no laws preventing you from installing your own radon mitigation system. Make yourself aware of any local ordinances or building permit requirements. Your local government may require a building permit. Electrical work may require a licensed electrician. You may also want to also consult with any other governing body such as a home owner’s association.

    No. Some North Carolina homes have radon mitigation systems that were installed in the 1990s. Radon mitigation fans are generally warrantied for 5 years. The recommendation is to test your home at most every five years, whether or not you have a radon mitigation system. This will help you determine if your system is keeping indoor radon levels low.