Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is in the air we breathe inside our homes, in our gardens, parks or even ball fields. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.
As nature releases it, it gets into the air we breathe. Radon cannot be seen and has no smell. Typically it moves up through the ground to the air above and into homes through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon gas becomes a problem when it is trapped inside a building, particularly buildings that are air tight. It tends to build up in enclosed unventilated spaces, especially basements.
Any home can have a radon problem, whether it is new or old, sealed or drafty, and with or without a basement. The EPA estimates that nearly one out of every 15 homes in the U. S. has an elevated level of radon.
The danger with radon is that the radioactive particles can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. Over time they break down further as these particles release small bursts of energy. This can cause damage to lung tissue leading to lung cancer over the course of a lifetime.
Not everyone exposed to elevated levels of radon will develop lung cancer. Like other environmental pollutants, there is some uncertainty about the magnitude of radon?s health risks.
It is possible for a home on one side of the street to have an elevated radon level and the home beside it or on the opposite side of the street not to have a problem at all. The only way to tell if there is an elevated level of radon present is to test for it.
For information on Radon levels in Ohio counties visit the Ohio Radon Level site.