Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium in soil and rock. It is invisible, odorless and tasteless, and can only be detected by specialized tests. Radon enters homes through openings that are in contact with the ground, such as cracks in the foundation, small openings around pipes, and sump pits.
Radon, like other radioactive materials, undergoes radioactive decay that forms decay products. Radon and its decay products release radioactive energy that can damage lung tissue in a way that causes the beginning of lung cancer.
The more radon you are exposed to, and the longer the exposure, the greater the risk of eventually developing lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, resulting in 15,000 to 22,000 deaths per year.
Testing your home for radon is easy and homes with high levels of radon can be fixed (mitigated). The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommends that all homes be tested for radon.