Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, invisible radioactive gas which comes from the breakdown of naturally-occurring radioactive elements (such as uranium, radium, and thorium) in rocks, soil, and groundwater. The gas moves up through the soil to the surface, where it can enter homes.
Radon gas enters the home through the slab, basement, or crawl space. Pressure differences between the inside and outside of your home, your home creates a vacuum (from warm air rising and other natural effects) that pulls radon through foundation cracks and other openings into living spaces from the soil. Furnace & air conditioning systems can distribute the air throughout the entire house.
Radon has been found in homes all over the United States. Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). You cannot predict radon levels based on state, local, and neighborhood radon measurements. Do not rely on radon test results taken in other homes in the neighborhood to estimate the radon level in your home. Homes which are next to each other can have different indoor radon levels. Testing is the only way to find out what your home’s radon level is. EPA recommends if you are buying a home or selling your home, have it tested for radon.
Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year.