Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Do you know what radon is? Where it is? How to test for it?
Radon is an invisible odorless gas. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon gas is found all over the world, and in every state in the U.S. Levels can vary widely, even from home to home in the same neighborhood. Radon gas becomes a health hazard when it accumulates indoors and is breathed in. The radioactive energy bursts can irritate the lung tissue and damage DNA. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking. Radon levels can be lowered, and homes can be built to be radon-resistant.
Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your home's foundation. When radon gas is present in the soil, your house acts like a vacuum and draws radon in through cracks and other openings.
Radon gets into your home through:
If you are planning to build a new home, talk to your builder about radon-resistant construction. Simple, built-in features are much less expensive than fixing a radon problem later.
The free EPA publication, Building Radon Out-A Step-by-Step Guide On How To Build Radon-Resistant Homes (2001), can be ordered from the EPA website.
Find a builder that uses Radon-Resistant construction techniques.
Last updated January 16, 2020