General Radon Information

Maine specific radon and radon level information can be found throughout this site. You will be able to find information about certified radon inspectors in Maine, as well as detailed radon level information for every county in Maine.

Radon is one of the natural elements present on earth. It is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas formed as a result of the radioactive decay of radium which, in turn, results from the decay of uranium.

Exposure to radon increases your risk of developing lung cancer. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon causes more cancer deaths than any other single pollutant except tobacco smoke. They estimate as many as 20,000 US lung cancer deaths each year may be caused by radon.

Radon can be found all over the U.S. However, the rocks and soils of Maine create more radon than most other States. High levels are found in all types of buildings, including many schools, offices, and homes. Approximately one in three Maine homes has air radon concentrations over four (4) picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). While radon problems may be more common in some areas, any home may have a problem.

Additionally, very high concentrations of radon can be found in Maine drinking water. The Maine Bureau of Health recommends radon concentrations in drinking water of 20,000 pCi/L or above be reduced. Studies have shown that nearly one in five Maine wells have radon concentrations this high or higher. Several in southern Maine have radon concentrations above one million pCi/L. If your water comes from a private well, you should test the water for radon. You can buy a test kit from a lab approved to analyze radon in water (lists are available form the Maine Radon/IAQ Program at 1-800-232-0842 or on the web at www.maineradiationcontrol.org). If you are on a public water supply and are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the water, call your public water supplier. Most of your risk from radon in water comes from radon released into the air when water is used for showering and other household purposes. Research has shown that your risk of lung cancer from breathing radon in air is much larger than your risk of stomach cancer from swallowing water with radon on it.

The US EPA, the Surgeon General, and the Maine Bureau of Health recommend testing all buildings for radon. Maine regulations require the lowest usable level of a building be tested - typically the basement - in addition to any other level of the building you would like to test, such as the main living area. Maine also recommends that every well be tested for radon in water.

If you are selling your home, Maine law requires you to hire a Maine registered radon service provider as a guarantee to potential buyers that the test was done under proper conditions. Maine does not currently require radon testing during home sales, only that trained contractors do the test if it the home is for sale and a radon test (air or water) is requested. Contact the Maine Radon/IAQ Program at 207-287-5676 or 1-800-232-0842 (in Maine only) or on the web at www.maineradiationcontrol.org for more information on radon testing or Maine laws regarding radon testing. Most of these testing contractors are also trained home inspectors.

If you are not selling your home, and want to test for yourself, contact the Maine Radon/IAQ Program (207-287-5698; toll free in Maine only: 1-800-232-0842) or on the web at www.maineradiationcontrol.org for a list of labs that have proven they can give accurate radon test results.

Don't worry if your tests show that you home has too much radon in the air or water. Radon problems in the air can be fixed easily and quickly for a cost similar to that for may common home repairs such as painting or having a new water heater installed - anywhere from $800 to about $2,500.

Radon problems in water can also be easily fixed. The most effective treatment is to remove radon from the water before it enters the home. This is called point-of-entry treatment. Treatment at your water tap is called point-of-use treatment. Unfortunately, point-of-use treatment will not reduce most of the inhalation risk from radon.

You can find more information about radon in water by contacting the Maine Radon/IAQ Program (207-287-5698; toll free in Maine only: 1-800-232-0842) or on the web at www.maineradiationcontrol.org. Additional information is also available at www.epa.gov/OGDW/radon/html

Mitigation inspection

The Maine Radiation Control Program's Radon /Indoor Air Quality Section is taking requests to inspect air radon mitigation systems that have been installed in the last 12 months. If you are interested in having your system inspected for compliance with the current radon mitigation standards please email us at: ‘steven.sprengel@maine.gov, or call us at 1-800-232-0842 (207-287-5698 out of state) for a free inspection of your system. We will also conduct a confirmatory test to ensure that the system continues to keep radon levels low. Please note: the purpose of this test is to confirm that the system is keeping radon levels low, and is not intended to take the place of the required post-mitigation test.

Although we recognize that some systems are installed by the homeowner/occupant (NOTE: this is no longer allowed by law if the home is for sale), at this time we are only inspecting systems installed by a state registered mitigation contractor. The purpose of these inspections is to insure that your system meets minimum standards. We will provide you and the contractor with a written report of our findings. At this time, inspections are only offered weekdays during normal business hours.