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Pollutants > Radon

Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring, radioactive noble gas that is formed from the decay of radium. It comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air we breathe. It is one of the heaviest substances that are gases under normal conditions.

Health Hazards

As radon decays, it forms radioactive by-products known as “progeny,” “decay products” or “daughters”. If inhaled, these by-products can damage lung tissue and cause lung cancer.

The health effects of radon were initially seen in the elevated levels of lung cancer found in underground uranium miners in the United States and all over the world.

Radon is a significant contaminant that affects indoor air quality worldwide. Radon gas from natural sources can accumulate in buildings and reportedly causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States alone.

Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building - homes, offices, and schools - and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.

Radon can be deadly when it accumulates to high levels inside homes or other structures. Radon gas seeps into homes from the surrounding soil through cracks and other openings in the foundation. Indoor radon exposure is said to be the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths occurring each year in the United States. (Large majority of lung cancer deaths are caused by cigarette smoking).

Per statistics, 1 out of 20 homes has elevated levels of radon. Even though the cancer risks due to radon exposure in the home are much lower than the risks for radon-exposed miners, it has been estimated that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year are caused by radon exposure in homes. There are various strategies to reduce residential radon exposure.

Testing is the only way to check the presence of radon at your home. EPA recommends testing all homes and schools below the third floor for radon.

Testing is inexpensive and easy - it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon

Investigation finds high levels of Radon in western Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH – According to a team 4 investigation, more than 50 percent of all areas in western Pennsylvania have high levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer... Read More
Homeowners advised on handling radon risk
People living in homes with elevated levels of radon have been participating in meetings over the two days to learn how to minimize their risk... Read More

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