Radon is a colorless gas that naturally occurs from radioactive decay of uranium. Because of the way many houses and other buildings are built, radon can collect indoors at higher concentrations than outside. When breathed in, radon can damage lung tissue. This damage can result in lung cancer forming. According to the EPA, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Fortunately, homes can be tested for radon. There are a variety of short-term tests available. Some radon tests are available for a low price at hardware stores. If a high level of radon (4 pCi/L or more) is found using a short-term test, it is recommended to do a long-term test or another short-term test. If a high level is still found, mitigation is recommended. Mitigation means installing a radon removal system, also known as a mitigation system. This system releases the radon gas back outside and lowers the level of radon inside the house. The cost of mitigation can range from $800 to $2,500.
For more information on radon, check out the links below:
For low cost, at-home test kits, call the American Lung Association at 800-383-5992.
Radon infographic for physicians (click on image below enlarge):