Radon gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas. It is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural radioactive material found in soil, rock and groundwater.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. In the United States, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year are radon related and in Canada that number stands at approximately 3,000.
When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it gets diluted to low concentrations and is not a concern. Within homes, it typically moves up through the flooring system and other openings between the ground and living spaces. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem – this means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. Even if you live in an area with fairly low environmental radon, you could still have significant levels in your home.