Radon Basics

The periodic table of elements, highlights radon (#86).  Radon is classified as a radioactive gas, the heaviest gas there is on Earth.  Radon is a part of the radioactive decay chain starting with Uranium (#92).

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and is found in homes throughout Illinois. Performing a radon test is the only way to know if radon levels in your home are high.
What is radon? 
Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible gas that 
is found naturally in most soil and rock. Everyone has it to some degree.  You cannot see it or 
smell it. Radon can come into homes through 
cracks in the foundation and myriad other entry routes.   
     Radon decays quickly, giving off tiny radioactive particles. When these minute particles are inhaled, it can damage the cells in the lungs. This lung damage can lead to lung cancer. 

     The amount of radon in the air is measured by 
what is called “picoCuries per liter of air” or  
pCi/L. Radon reduction, or mitigation,  is  
recommended for a radon test that is over the 
US EPA Radon Action Level of 4.0pCi/L.   
Long-term exposure to radon at this level is a 
lung cancer risk.
Why is it important to know about radon? 
     Radon is the second leading cause of lung  
cancer in the United States. The United States 
Environmental Protection Agency 
says that radon is associated with 15,000 to 
22,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States 
each year. 

     According to the Illinois Emergency  
Management Agency, almost 50% of the homes 
in Illinois and nearly 30% of the of the homes in 
Cook County that were tested by licensed professionals had radon levels higher than what is  
recommended by the US EPA and IEMA.
How do I know if I have a radon problem? 
     The only way to know if you have radon in your home is by testing. For special circumstances, such as real estate transactions, someone who is licensed to  perform radon testing is required. The  Illinois Emergency Management Agency Radon Program trains and provides licenses for radon testers throughout Illinois.
      Radon Testers, Inc. is the second leading radon testing company in Illinois.

-- Breathing home indoor radon causes nearly one hundred times more deaths each year than carbon monoxide poisoning.

-- Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.

-- Some 20,000 people will die this year due to breathing too much radon without even knowing it.

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