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Radon

About Radon

Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas. It is also the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Surgeon General’s office estimate radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Since it is difficult to identify any immediate symptoms related to radon exposure, it may take years before health problems appear. So, whether in the workplace, in homes, or in schools, understanding radon is important. This includes learning how radon gets into buildings, its health effects, and ways to reduce its levels.

Red (Zone 1) - Highest Potential; Orange (Zone 2) - Moderate Potential; Yellow (Zone 3) - Low Potential.

EPA Map of Radon Zones.  Red (Zone 1) – Highest Potential; Orange (Zone 2) – Moderate Potential; Yellow (Zone 3) – Low Potential.

How Radon Enters Your Home

Radon is a gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown—or the radioactive decay—of uranium. Rocks, soil, and in some cases groundwater can all contain uranium. Because radon comes from so many sources, people are easily exposed to it. Exposure can occur through breathing outdoor air, in buildings and homes, and by eating or drinking (ingestion). Radon gas can seep through cracks in buildings and expose people to the radiation, which can lead to severe health problems. The EPA lists the following ways that radon can get into buildings:

  • Cracks in solid floors and walls
  • Construction joints
  • Gaps in suspended floors
  • Gaps around service pipes
  • Cavities inside walls
  • The water supply

Protection from Radon for You and Your Family

  • Purchasing a radon test kit
  • Testing your home or office
  • Sending the kit to appropriate sources to determine radon levels
  • Fixing your home if radon levels are high