Many people might not aware the second leading cause of lung cancer could be in their home. Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible gas that’s odorless and tasteless. It’s created deep underground when uranium decays, and rises to the surface where it can enter homes, often through the basement.
Some areas of the USA have higher exposure to radon than others because of the type of underlying bedrock. The US EPA offers an interactive map with information on which areas of the USA tend to have the highest incidence of radon gas in homes (you can see a snapshot at the top of this page). The map is only a guide, however. You can live in an area that shows a low risk of radon and still have high radon levels in your home.
Testing your home is the best way to tell if radon gas is present. Testing for radon is cheap and easy. Consumer Reports has reviewed radon testing kits so you can find the best testing option for you. If you’re buying a home, ask if it has been tested for radon.
If you find radon is in your home, it’s relatively easy to install inexpensive measures to reduce the concentration of radon in the air and make your home safer. The US EPA Radon website has many resources for doing this.
Take steps to avoid lung cancer, which kills over 400 people daily in the USA. Test your home for radon. If you find some, fix it.