Separating fact from fiction about radon in your home

January 16, 2024
Brigitta Gruenberg, Division of Public Health

Radon gas is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that may be silently present in many homes across Idaho. The Environmental Health Program in the Division of Public Health at DHW helps has programs to help distinguish radon facts from radon fictions and to help ensure the well-being of Idaho families.

Fact: Every home should be tested for radon

Radon is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas, that seeps into homes through foundation gaps or cracks. Whether it’s a new build, an existing home, with or without a basement, all homes can have high levels of radon.

Regular testing, recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) every two years or after remodeling, is the only way to confirm your home’s radon levels. Order a free test kit from or call the Idaho Careline at 2-1-1 or 1-800-445-8647.

Fiction: Radon is not an issue where I live

Two out of every five homes tested in Idaho have radon levels higher than recommended, and high radon levels have been found in homes in every county in Idaho. For detailed radon test results and recommended actions, visit You can also view Idaho radon test results by zip code on an interactive map and order a free short-term test kit.

Fiction: Radon is not harmful to my health

Long-term exposure to radon gas is known to cause lung cancer and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Learn more about the health effects of radon by visiting the EPA’s Health Risk of Radon website at

Fact: Winter is the best time to test a home for radon

Radon levels fluctuate with seasons and weather. Radon levels in the winter are often highest because homes have less fresh air circulating. To learn more about radon testing and addressing radon problems, visit

Fact: A radon problem can be fixed

Effective radon mitigation systems exist to reduce radon levels in homes. The Idaho Radon Program recommends hiring a nationally certified radon professional. Locate a radon professional at

Radon mitigation certification course

Radon mitigation systems can reduce the levels of radon in a home. The Idaho Radon Program offers in-person radon mitigation certification courses. There’s an upcoming mitigation course Feb. 5-7 in Boise. Register at or

Registration fee is $600, providing three days of in-person training. A radon measurement course is highly recommended before attending a radon mitigation course.

Radon poster contest entries encouraged through Feb. 28

Kids across the Northwest are encouraged to use their creativity to raise awareness about the dangers of radon gas by participating in the 2024 Northwest Radon Poster Contest. Poster designs will help educate about radon and encourage people to test for radon in their homes.

Kids ages 9 to 14 living in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington can participate in the poster contest. Students enrolled in a public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense, or home school, or kids who are members of a sponsoring club, such as a scouting, art, computer, science, or 4-H club are eligible to participate. All participants will learn about radon and how to reduce exposure.

Only one entry per person is allowed and posters must be submitted by Feb. 28, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. Winners will be notified by March 28, 2024. Find contest submission forms, lesson plans, and rules at the Northwest Radon Poster Contest website.

The contest is sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Nez Perce Tribe, Oregon Health Authority, Spokane Tribe of Indians, and Washington State Department of Health in collaboration with the Northwest Radon Coalition and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 10.

For inquiries or more information, contact the Idaho Radon Program at 1-800-445-8647 or

Brigitta Gruenberg is the Environmental Health Program manager in the Division of Public Health.  

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening Idahoans' health, safety, and independence. Learn more at

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