Technology Inc.

Downingtown, PA 19335
Office: (800) 642-7873
(610) 873-0878
Fax: (610) 873-2945

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Q: What is radon?

A: Radon is a radioactive gas that is found in the earth's rock and soil. It is formed by the natural breakdown of radium, which is itself a decay of uranium. As radon decays, it forms radioactive byproducts (called progeny, decay products, or daughters) which, if inhaled, can damage lung tissue and cause lung cancer. Invisible and odorless, radon is a health hazard when it accumulates to high levels inside homes and other structures. Indoor radon exposure is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths each year in the United States, after cigarette smoking.

Q: How serious a problem is radon in the U.S.?

A: Radon problems have been identified in every state. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 1 of 15 homes in the U.S. have indoor radon levels at or above the EPA's recommended action guideline level of 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) on yearly average. The average indoor level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L of air of radon is normally found in outside air. Radon can be a problem in both schools and work places as well. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels.

Q: How does radon get indoors?

A: Radium, which releases radon, is common in the earth's crust. Soils and rocks containing high levels of uranium (such as granite, phosphate, shale, and pitchblende) are natural sources of radon. High levels of radon in the soil are primarily responsible for radon problems. The radon gas percolates up through gaps and cracks in the foundation and through pipes, sumps, drains, walls, and other openings. Radon is not a problem outdoors because it is quickly diluted to low levels by the outdoor air.

Radon Gets in Through: