Date Published: 12/16/2009 [Source]
The EPA designated January as National Radon Action Month. If you're building a home, ask about radon-resistant building construction.
If radon affects an existing home, there are ways to fix the problem, such as increasing under-floor ventilation and sealing cracks and gaps in the floor. If your home has high radon levels, consult with an expert for the proper fix.
All homes should be tested for radon. Fortunately, testing is easy and inexpensive. Visit the EPA for more information on how to obtain your own radon testing kit. You may also visit EPA's local radon information section for help with finding a qualified radon tester.
Why radon matters
Radon is a naturally occurring, though potentially deadly radioactive gas that rises from underground into homes. Breathing in radon is the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is the biggest cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Though radon is all around us when we're outside, radon levels indoors are more concentrated. Radon levels vary widely in neighboring houses.
How radon gets inside
Radon gas gets inside homes via openings like cracks at concrete floor-wall junctions or gaps in the floor and small pores in hollow-block walls. The gas may also enter through sumps and drains. Levels of radon are often higher in basements and cellars, or any areas in contact with soil.
Have you tested for radon in your home?