Radon is an inert gas found all over the world. It originates in the rocks found under your house. Every rock in the world has traces of uranium in it. It is the break down of the uranium in these rocks where radon gas gets it start. The gas is under a positive pressure. The gas works its way through the soil and gets into your home through cracks and breeches in your concrete slab. Radon can enter your home through sump pits, plumbing rough-ins, crawlspaces, well heads located in basements, French drains, and cracks. It does not matter whether your home is one month old or one hundred years old, your house has the potential to have a problem. Testing your home for radon is the only way to know the level in your residence.
How Radon Enters a Home


The radon issue started in 1984 when an electrician was hired by a nuclear plant to do some work. When he walked into the nuclear plant he set off the sensors that indicated nuclear contamination. After the plant was thoroughly inspected and found safe, the EPA (Enviromental Protection Agency) checked his house and found very high radon levels. The EPA wondered just how many homes in America have this problem and, consequently, the issue started. The EPA estimates that one out of every fifteen homes has a problem with radon.


The gas in itself is not what causes health problems. The gas decays like the uranium did in the rocks. When the gas decays, an energy particle is released. This is the alpha particle. When this particle is inhaled, it attaches itself to the cells in the lung. The alpha particle then also decays and when that happens Gamma radiation now damages the cell that surround the alpha particle. If the cell is only damaged, the DNA sequence is changed and the cell repairs itself. Now, you have growing mutated cells in the lungs that cause cancer.
Diagram of How Radon Causes Lung Cancer


The following articles were published in the Washington Post regarding radon :