Green Tip of the Day: Radon in your home may give you lung cancer

Did you know exposure to radon in the home is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year? The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today followed by smoking.

Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil and rock, and the gas decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in a person’s lungs when they breathe. These particles as they break down release small bursts of energy that can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of a lifetime.

It can be found all over the U.S. and can seep into any type of building. However, not everyone exposed to elevated levels of radon will develop lung cancer. In addition, the amount of time between exposure and the onset of the disease may be several years. But exposure can be deadly to some. The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels, referring to studies that say lower levels stave off the disease.

Ready to test your home to see if you and your family are at risk? Click here to get a radon test.

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