- A radioactive, colorless, odorless gas
- An environmental health concern
- A real physical health risk
Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless gas derived from the radioactive decay of uranium in the soil. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) considers radon an environmental health concern because it is the second leading cause of lung cancer, surpassed only by smoking. Radon gas decays into airborne radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs. As these particles decay further, they release small bursts of radioactive energy that can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of your lifetime. Studies of lung cancer in underground miners prove that long-term exposure to elevated levels of radon presents a real physical health risk.
The primary risk factors for developing radon-induced lung cancer include:
- The amount of radon in your home
- The amount of time you spend in your home
- Whether or not you smoke or have ever smoked
Radon contributes to thousands of lung cancer related deaths each year. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today, surpassed only by smoking. Many who have died from radon-induced lung cancer never heard of radon or realized they had a radon problem in their home until they had already developed advanced stages of lung cancer. Though you can’t see or smell radon, you can find out if you have a radon problem in your home by performing a simple, inexpensive test. If you find that your home has a radon problem, there are cost-effective solutions.
Do you know if your home has radon? There is only one way to find out – through testing.
For more information, contact the Radon Program Coordinator.