Radon is a colorless and odorless naturally occurring gas found nearly in all soils which can enter a building through cracks and permeable areas in the foundation. It exists in trace amounts in the atmosphere where it generally isn’t considered a health issue. However, when it enters an enclosed structure like a building, it’s concentration can increase over time and pose a hazard to occupants. Continuous exposure to higher levels of radon gas can increase the risk of lung cancer. In the U.S., radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.
Testing the air for radon is the only way to determine radon levels in buildings. Preventing the entry of radon into a building is the most effective way of protecting building residents. This can be done in new buildings by incorporating radon-resistant construction protocols and in existing buildings by using underground collection systems that vent the gas into the atmosphere through an exterior pipe. Radon levels within buildings can also be reduced by increasing ventilation rates.