Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, and the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths overall. The EPA estimates radon exposure results in approximately 20,000 lung cancer deaths annually; of those, an estimated 2,900 occur among people who have never smoked.
Radon is a radioactive gas that results from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. The risk of radon exposure can therefore be associated with the type of soil and bedrock that is present where you live. Radon cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. The gas can enter any type of building through cracks in solid floors, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors, pipe openings, and in some cases through the water supply. Even small amounts of radon, from soils and bedrocks with low uranium content, can build up to be a big problem.
Radon Level Variables
Radon levels are dependent upon a number of variables, for this reason the Health Department strongly recommends everyone test their home, even if you are not in a high risk area.
Visit the EPA website "A Citizen's Guide to Radon" for more information.