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Home » Home and Garden » Indoor Air and Water Quality » Radon

Understanding Radon

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Radon gas is believed to be the cause of many thousands of deaths each and every year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths and your risk of lung cancer from radon is especially high if you are are a smoker.

Radon is formed from the natural breakdown of radioactive uranium in rock, soil, and water. It can get into the air that you breathe. Radon is found in homes all over the United States. 

Radon testing is the only way to determine your home is at risk. It is inexpensive and easy to do and should only take a few minutes of your time.

If you determine that radon is present in your home, it is possible to reduce your exposure by taking inexpensive steps. Even if you have very high levels of radon, this can usually be reduced to acceptable levels. There are construction methods which are considered to be radon-resistant which can help to prevent radon from entering the home.  When properly installed, these inexpensive and relatively simple techniques can help to reduce radon levels inside the home.  Even if radon-resistant techniques are used, every new home should be tested for radon.

Radon, a radioactive gas, comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in most soil. Moving up through the ground to the air above and into your house, radon enters through small cracks and other holes in the basement and foundation. Because most energy-efficient homes don't allow for a lot of air exchange, radon becomes trapped inside where it can build up over time. Even old homes can have serious radon problems.

It is estimated that nearly one out of every fifteen homes in the United States has elevated radon levels. Every state has homes with elevated levels of radon gas. Radon problems are more common in some areas than in others, but home may have a problem. Radon testing is the only way to determine if radon is a problem in your home.

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