What Is Radon?
Radon is an invisible, cancer-causing, radioactive gas created during the natural breakdown of uranium in rocks and soils. It's found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation, although there are other radon sources. Your home traps radon inside, where it can accumulate. Any home can have a radon problem, not just those built on soil and rock types with high geologic potential for radon release.
How Does Radon Affect You?
Breathing air that contains radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today and is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to EPA's 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes.