Charles County


What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that is released as uranium in soil as rock naturally decays. It can enter homes and other buildings through cracks in the foundation, gaps around pipes, and other openings. Long-term exposure to elevated radon levels can lead to an increased risk of lung cancer, especially for individuals who smoke. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

Charles County, like many areas, is not immune to radon infiltration. The unique geological composition of the region can lead to varying levels of radon in homes and buildings. To understand the potential radon levels in your area, it’s essential to conduct radon testing.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has worked with state and federal geologists to develop maps which predict the potential indoor radon levels for every county in the United States. Those counties with the highest potential are designated as Zone 1; those with the lowest comprise Zone 3.

Charles County, MD has been designated as a Zone 2 area which means there is a predicted average radon level of 2.0-4.0 in the EPA’s pico-Curies per liter (pCi/L) action level. (pCi/L is a measure of the amount of radioactivity in a known quantity of air.)  

Radon Testing and Mitigation

Testing your home for radon is simple and essential for safeguarding your family’s health. Maryland residents can take advantage of subsidized radon test kits available through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Radon Program. These kits allow you to test your home’s radon levels at a reduced cost, making it easier for everyone to prioritize their health and safety. To order these subsidized radon test kits, visit the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Radon page.

Radon Mitigation Systems

There are several proven methods for reducing radon in your home, but the one primarily used is a vent pipe system and fan, which pull radon from beneath the house and vent it to the outside. This system, known as a soil suction radon reduction system, does not require major changes to your home. Sealing foundation cracks and other openings makes this kind of system more effective and cost-efficient. Similar systems can also be installed in houses with crawl spaces. Radon contractors can use other methods that might also work in your home. The right system depends on the design of your home and other factors.

EPA’s  Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction provides information on how to select the right contractor to install a radon reduction system, what to look for in a contract, different types of reduction systems, and other information to ensure the system you install meets your needs.

Certified Radon Contractors

If you would like to hire a contractor to perform the testing or to install a mitigation system to reduce radon in your home, you should first contact one of the independent radon proficiency programs below. They have a list of the certified radon contractors serving your area. The websites for these organizations have a contractor search feature that enables consumers to find professionals certified in testing and/or remediation.

American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists
National Radon Proficiency Program
Phone: (800) 269-4174

National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)
Phone: (866) 329-3474

Working Together for a Safer Home

By collaborating with experts, health professionals, and community members, we aim to create a safer living environment for everyone in Charles County. Radon may be invisible, but with knowledge and action, we can reduce its risks and protect our loved ones from its harmful effects.
For more information about radon, testing kits, mitigation strategies, and upcoming events, please explore our additional resources below.