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Radon awareness

Date Published: 01/24/2020 [Source]

Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that affects indoor air quality in every state. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is responsible for 21,000 deaths annually in the U.S.

Radon gas forms naturally from Uranium in the soil and rocks. Uranium breaks down to form radium, which then breaks down to form radon gas.

Radon gas enters homes and buildings through basement floors, cracks in foundations, walls, and other openings. Once trapped indoors, radon gas can rise to dangerous concentrations. As the radon gas decays, it releases radioactive byproducts, that when inhaled, can cause lung cancer.

There are no immediate health symptoms from exposure to radon gas. Continued exposure to high levels increases ones risk of developing lung cancer. Smoking and exposure to high levels of radon gas greatly increase the risk of lung cancer.

Radon levels are elevated in every state. Iowa counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Every home is different. Your home can be elevated while your neighbor's is not.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends fixing homes with levels greater than 4 pCi/L and considering fixing homes with levels between 2 and 4 pCi/L.

Testing is easy and inexpensive. Most tests last between two and seven days.