The Invisible Cancer-Causing Gas


  1. Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas formed from radioactive decay of uranium. Its atomic symbol is Rn, it has an atomic number of 86, and an atomic mass of 222.

Radon Exposure

Radon causes lung cancer and you could be easily exposed to it. Radon can contaminate many things such as well water and it could seep through any room within a building that is underground such as a basement.

Determining Radon Levels

The level of radon is determined by picocuries per liter of air or pCi/L. 0.4 pCi/L is a typical measure for outdoor air and 1.3 pCi/L is typical for indoors. Water is tested in a lab for radon. There are kits that can be purchased to do testing by yourself or a professional can come and test the air.

Radon's Impact on Health Status

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people that die from lung cancer are exposed to radon. People who smoke and are exposed to radon levels are all the more likely to get lung cancer. Radon in the air is more dangerous than radon in water.

Improving Radon Levels

Radon in the air can be lessened or eliminated by ventilation or impermeable sheeting which does not let radon seep into an enclosed space. Radon in water is lessened or eliminated by aeration or carbon filtration systems.