You can't see radon and you can't smell or taste it. However, it may be a problem in your home. Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because breathing air with high amounts of radon can give you lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in the soil and water gets into the air you breathe. Buildings naturally create a negative air space and basically suck in radon from the soil. Radon can be found all over the United States but is especially high here in the four corners area.
It can get into any type of building. This includes homes, offices, and schools. However, you and your family are most likely to get the greatest exposure at home where you spend most of your time. The only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon is to have your home tested.
The EPA and Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy. The best way to test for radon is to have a certified radon tester place a continuous radon monitoring unit in the house for a few days. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon.
Radon reduction systems do work and they are not too costly. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.