What do I Need to Know about Radon
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay (breaking down) of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found in different amounts in soil and rock throughout the world.
Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the United States according to EPA estimates.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon-induced lung cancer costs the United States over $2 billion dollars per year in both direct and indirect health care costs. A family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/L is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site.
Testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels. There are no immediate symptoms that will alert you to the presence of radon. The US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association, and National Safety Council recommend testing your home for radon because testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels.
Radon is a national environmental health problem. Elevated radon levels have been discovered in every state. The US EPA estimates that as many as 8 million homes throughout the country have elevated levels of radon. Current state surveys show that 1 home in 5 has elevated radon levels.
Radon is naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in ground soil. Because the pressure inside your home is usually lower than the ground soil that is around your home's foundation, Your home acts like a vacuum. This motion sucks moist soil gasses that contain radon into the home's living spaces through openings in the foundation such as the sump, cracks in the foundation and floor surface, and poorly sealed penetrations. Your home then traps the gasses inside, where they can build up to unhealthy levels. Any home can have unhealthy radon levels even those without a basement and on slabs.