Radon is a widely present, radioactive gas that results from the decay of natural uranium in our soil and water. It is odorless and tasteless, so it can only be detected with special kits made for this purpose. If you detect unsafe radon levels in your home, take steps to eliminate the problem and limit further contamination. Continued radon exposure can lead to serious health consequences.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States. The agency cites two studies that show conclusively that breathing low levels of radon can produce cancer in the lungs, and urges testing. The risk increases dramatically for smokers as opposed to non-smokers. Exposure to radon also increases the lower in the earth you are, meaning that basements and first story rooms will have greater levels of radon exposure than higher floors.