How does radon get into your home?
Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.
Radon is a Cancer-causing, Radioactive Gas
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the general population. The Surgeon General and EPA recommend testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels. Fix your home if your radon level is confirmed to be 4 picocuries per liter, pCi/L, or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
If you want information on how to test your home for radon, call your state radon office. You can also read A Citizen’s Guide to Radon or, if testing during a home sale, read the Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon.