Radon Is a Cancer-Causing, Radioactive Gas
You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. But it still may be a problem in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation.
Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.
EPA and the Surgeon General recommend you test your home. You cannot predict radon levels based on state, local and neighborhood radon measurements. Do not rely on radon test results in your area to estimate the radon level in your home. Homes next to each other can have different indoor radon levels. Testing is the only way to determine the radon level in your home.