You cannot see, smell, or taste radon, however, it may be a problem in your home
or a property you are purchasing. Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the
natural breakdown of uranium in solids and rocks. This gas moves through the earth
and enters buildings through cracks and / or holes in foundations and floors and
accumulates. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Surgeon General have
identified radon gas as the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Living in a home with elevated radon readings for a long period of time significantly
increases your chances of contracting the disease. The risk is even more pronounced
if you smoke or have ever smoked. The only way to determine if you are at risk from
radon is to perform testing. The EPA and Surgeon General recommend testing for all
homes below the third floor for radon. The EPA also recommends that all schools
be tested. However, since radon can get into any building, it is certainly advisable
to test office and other buildings as well.
Testing is simple and inexpensive. If your test results are elevated (at or above 4.0 pCi/L per the EPA action guideline),
additional testing or mitigation may be required. Even high levels of radon can
be reduced to acceptable levels for a relatively low cost.