When we breathe air with radon gas, radioactive particles embed themselves into our lung tissue. This can cause cell changes and mutations that, over time, become cancer. Radon causes lung cancer, which is the number one cause of cancer deaths. Radon is the second leading cause (after smoking) of lung cancer, and it is the leading cause in those who have never smoked.
Radon gas enters our homes through cracks in floors, walls or foundations. It seeps in through the tiny spaces around pipes and other small openings. The air pressure inside a home is usually lower than pressure around the home’s foundation. This causes a vacuum effect that sucks radon out of the soil and bedrock and into the home. Radon may also enters the home through water. With Radon-contaminated water, the danger is not ingesting it, it is when the water is agitated (such as when taking a shower or running water) the Radon is released from the water, and enters the air in the home. It is just another way for the radon to become trapped inside your home.
Nearly 1 out of 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels, according to the EPA. Although dangerous levels of radon have been found in all areas of the country, certain geographical areas are classified as having higher concentrations of radon than others. The EPA evaluated the indoor radon potential in every county across the nation, and then classified areas using three color codes—red, orange and yellow. Red has the potential highest concentration; orange moderate; and yellow low. Again, remember, that unsafe radon levels have been found in homes all over the nation, in every state. The only way to know for sure is to test your home. Luckily, that is easy and inexpensive. Learn about Radon Testing, Radon Mitigation, Where to Order a Radon Test Kit and Frequently Asked Questions about radon in this section.