WHAT IS RADON?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the earth's rock and soil. It is naturally produced by the decay of uranium in soil and rock and then released into air and water. Radon is the main source of our exposure to all radiation. In fact, 55% of all radiation to which we are exposed comes from radon gas.
HOW DOES RADON GET INTO MY HOME?
Radon can enter any home, new or old. In fact, radon levels can be higher in newer homes that are well insulated and tightly sealed. Radon enters the home from the ground beneath it through hollow block walls, cracks in the basement and foundation and openings around floor drains, pipes and sump pumps. It can also come in from well water or building materials that contain radon.
HOW DOES RADON CAUSE CANCER?
Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It decays quickly and breaks down into tiny particles that when inhaled can cause damage to the lining of the lungs. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. The Surgeon General warns that indoor radon is second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer death in the United States.
According to the US EPA, radon is the number one environmental health hazard causing 21,000 deaths in the US each year.
In Pennsylvania, 40% of homes have radon levels greater than the PA DEP's guideline of less than 4.0pCi.L.
Radon is not just a problem in homes, but in schools and the workplace as well.
Smokers exposed to radon have a greater risk of developing lung cancer than exposed non-smokers.