Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer (after tobacco) in smokers. Thankfully, this risk should be entirely preventable through awareness and testing.
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Radon comes from the soil. Radon is produced from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. Uranium breaks down to radium. As radium disintegrates it turns into radioactive gas: radon. As a gas, radon moves up through the soil and into the air you breathe.
High radon exist in every state in the U.S. In Minnesota, 2 in 5 homes has radon levels that pose a significant health risk, and nearly 80% of counties are rated high radon zones. Some factors that further contribute to Minnesota's high radon levels include:
Since radon is produced from soil, it is present nearly everywhere. Because soil is porous radon gas is able to move up through the dirt and rocks and into the air we breathe. If allowed to accumulate, radon becomes a health concern.
Two components that affect how much radon will accumulate in a home are pathways and air pressure. These components will differ from home to home.