What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas and a known carcinogen. Exposure to elevated levels of radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It forms naturally from the decay (breaking down) of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which is found in different amounts in soil and rock throughout the world. It is usually found in igneous rock and soil, but in some cases, well water may also be a source of radon. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above, and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home can 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. Almost one out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). The EPA recommends fixing their homes when radon levels fall between 2pCi/L and 4pCi/L. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in this area of Central New York. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Due to the properties of this gas, the only way to determine its levels in your home is to test for it. Since radon gas levels fluctuate with the seasons and weather conditions the EPA recommends testing for radon annually.
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