Radon & Your Health

Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas and is a naturally-occurring byproduct of the radioactive decay of Uranium in the soil. Elevated indoor levels are found in every state in the US and is by far the greatest single source of radiation exposure to the general public. Your risk of lung cancer increases substantially with exposure to higher radon levels, with lung cancer risk rising 16% per 2.7 pCi/L increase in radon exposure. (World Health Organization, 2009).

The EPA recommends homes be fixed if the radon level is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) or more.  Because there is no known safe level of exposure to radon, EPA also recommends that Americans consider fixing their home for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.  The average radon concentration in the indoor air of America's homes is about 1.3 pCi/L.

According to the US EPA, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the leading cause among non-smokers.  However, the absolute numbers of radon-induced lung cancers are much larger in people who smoke, or who have smoked in the past, due to a strong combined effect of smoking and radon.  The EPA estimates the number of radon-related lung cancers deaths per year at 21,000.



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