What is Radon?
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas you can not see, smell or taste. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. Radon has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water, and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above, and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. It can also enter your home through well water. Your home can actually trap radon inside. Any home can have a radon problem, including new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time. Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in South Dakota. Radon tests are optional, additional tests for home inspections, but without testing, there is no way to know whether this dangerous gas is in your home.