The EPA is recognizing January as National Radon Action Month. Radon is an odorless and colorless gas that can cause lung cancer. The EPA statistics indicate that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Approximately 21,000 people in the United States die from radon related lung cancer each year.
Radon gas is emitted from the ground and can migrate through foundations. Radon is a naturally ocurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. If the radon gas is allowed to accumulate in a building or home the exposure can casue lung cancer. Currently, the EPA recommends that radon levels be maintained in a home below 4 Picocuries per Liter (pCi/L).
The New England region is at higher risk to to have structures with elevated radon levels. No matter where you are located it is recommended that all homes be tested for radon. There are many affordable Do-It-Yourself test kits available. Those homes that have radon concentrations above 4 pCi/L should have a radon mitigation system installed to minimize the gas concetration in the structure and improve indoor air quality.
Mitigation systems are readily available and there are companies that specialize in installation. The cost is said to be similar to other home improvement projects.
If you are interested in finding out more about radon, below are some links to helpful information provided by the EPA:
More information on how to Test, Fix, Save a Life, obtain a text kit, or contact your state radon office: http://www.epa.gov/radon or call 1-800-SOS-RADON
More information on the Federal Radon Action Plan: http://www.epa.gov/radon/action_plan.html