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Radon: Is Your Home Trapping Radiation?

Radon is on the EPA's top ten list of household pollutants. A relatively unknown pollutant, the testing is relatively inexpensive.

Some of most dangerous pollutants inside your home are invisible to the senses and their affect on your health can be cumulative, slowly contributing to poorer health over months or years. Radon is principle among them.

Most of us know little about what radon is, much less the dangers it can represent. In short, radon is radioactive gas that enters your home through the soil and water underground. Radon gas comes from the natural decay of uranium found in the Earth’s soil.

You can’t see, smell or taste radon. Radon can enter your home through cracks in your foundation, gaps around service pipes or suspended floors, cavities in walls, or the water supply. Radon gas can be found in buildings throughout the United States, indicating a need for testing in all areas.

Testing Your Home for Radon

Invisible Gas is Second Leading Cause of Lung Cancer

Watch this KJCT8 news segment.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- We have a warning for you about a lung cancer-causing gas that could be lurking inside your home.

It's called Radon. The byproduct of decomposing Uranium deep below the earth's surface seeps up through the ground and can become trapped inside your home, especially during the winter.

It's the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States right behind smoking.

Experts say you should use a test kit to figure out your home's levels. And if they're high, they're advising that you pay the money to get rid of the Radon.

Free Home Test Kits for Radon Offered to Tennesseans

Free test kits for radon – a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can build up in homes – are being offered online through the state.

“Tennesseans can check for the presence of radon in the home with a simple test,” Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan said in an emailed announcement.

“I encourage all Tennesseans to order one of these free, easy-to-use test kits and take this important step to protect the health of your loved ones from the dangers of exposure to radon."

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can seep into homes through cracks and openings in their foundations. It cannot be seen, tasted or smelled, but in concentrated levels, radon can pose a threat to human health.

Parts of Tennessee, including the Mid-State, have rock underlying them that releases relatively large amounts of the gas.

Radon: Silent Killer That Can Be Easily Detected

Two decades ago, Tom and Ann Morgan build a home in Triadelphia large enough for their four children to grow up in a quiet, safe area.

But they didn't know about the hidden danger right inside their home: radon.

"It was by chance that we discovered we had a problem," Tom Morgan said. "I basically exposed my family to a health hazard that I wasn't even aware of."

Radon is a gas that is a byproduct of natural material breakdown in the environment. It can come from underground and seep into homes without people like the Morgans even knowing it.

Lock Johnson of the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department said there are many avenues where radon gas can enter a building, such as cracks in pipes. He said homeowners need to take action at a level of four pico curies per liter or higher. The Morgans basement tested at 87.

Higher levels have been detected in Pennsylvania and in West Virginia's northern panhandle, likely because of the terrain.