Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Uranium breaks down to radium, which then decays to radon gas. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas.

Radon gases enter the home due to air pressure differences between the inside of your home and the soil around your home’s foundation. The air pressure inside the home is typically lower than the pressure in the soil outside your home. This difference in pressure causes your home to act like a vacuum and draw the radon in through any openings and foundation cracks. Radon can also penetrate through pores in the concrete.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer worldwide and is the LEADING cause of lung cancer worldwide among non-smokers.

Radon and Smoking

Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.  If you smoke and your home has high levels of radon, your lung cancer risk is EXTREMELY high.

Radon and Children

Children are more sensitive to radon because their lungs are smaller and their respiratory rates are twice as high. Doctors say that, by the age of 10, a child receives twice the lung dose of an adult who’s been exposed to the same level of radon for the same length of time.

Recommendations

The Surgeon General of The Unites States and The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels. They recommend to fix your home if your radon level is confirmed to be 4 pCi/L or higher. Levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and can also be reduced.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set the recommended action level at 2.7 pCi/L.