What is radon? Radon is a cancer causing radioactive gas. You can’t see, smell, or taste it, but it may be a problem in your home. It comes from the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks or other holes in the foundation, where your home traps the radon inside and it builds up. Every home is different and it may be present in a neighbor’s home, but not in yours.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is estimated to contribute to between 7,000 and 30,000 lung cancer deaths each year. It has also been linked to stomach cancer from well water contaminated by radon. Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States has elevated radon levels.
If radon is discovered in your home there are simple, and not too costly, ways to fix the problem that are not too costly. Even high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels. Because radon levels tend to vary from day to day and season to season, you may want to consider a short-term test first followed by a long-term test, (3 or more months) to get a better average of your radon level.
Radon in water in most homes is not a problem because the water comes from public sources, (lakes, rivers and reservoirs called surface water) and is released into the air. Radon can easily get into your home through the water if you have a well. Radon gas can dissolve and accumulate in water from underground sources such as wells. Most of the radon is released into the air when the water is run, but some remains in the water you drink. If you have a well it is highly recommended you have the water as well as the air in your home tested for radon. If radon is found in the well water, it can be removed from the water before it enters your home.