Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that is released when uranium—a natural element found in rock and soil—breaks down and decays. Radon can leak from the ground into a home or other building through cracks in the foundation or gaps around pipes.

Long-term exposure to radon has been linked to the development of lung cancer.

Radon cannot be detected by human senses because it is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. However, levels can be measured in enclosed spaces with home test kits. Radon levels in homes and other buildings can be reduced by using simple venting methods such as opening windows, installing vents in basements or crawl spaces, and increasing air movement with ceiling fans.

Last Updated: January 29, 2009

Author: Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS

Medical Review: Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care, Medical Toxicology

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