January is National Radon Action Month. What is radon? Radon is a radioactive gas produced when uranium in soil decays; it can be found all over the United States. Radon gas moves up through the ground into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation, becoming trapped inside. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about one our of every 15 homes has elevated radon levels. You can't see, smell or taste radon, but it can be harmful - it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Viewer Tip: In many parts of the country, winter is a great time to test your home for radon. When windows and doors are sealed tightly, radon levels inside your home can rise. Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes a few minutes. For details, visit http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html#howtotest. If you find high levels of radon in your home, the problem can be fixed! Some radon reduction systems can reduce levels in your home by up to 99 percent.
For more tips, visit Earth Gauge!
(Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon.” Image courtesy of EPA.)