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IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT RADON GAS



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UC IRVINE EH S RADIATION SAFETY DIVISION IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT RADON GAS What is Radon Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from radioactive decay of uranium and radium deposits in soil rocks and well water You cannot see it taste it or smell it Radon gas atoms decay into solid radioactive atoms called Radon daughters sometimes referred to as Radon progeny It is the Radon daughters in inhaled air that can deposit in our lungs and cause health problems Can Radon really affect my health There are differing opinions on that But the U S Environmental Protection Agency EPA indicates that the leading causes of lung cancer are smoking radon and secondhand smoke in that order However some scientists do not believe that Radon causes that much lung cancer Smoking definitely causes a lot more lung cancers than Radon does Smokers exposed to high levels of Radon are at a much greater risk of lung cancer than nonsmokers since their lung function is already damaged by the cigarette smoke exposure Where can I be exposed to Radon Essentially everywhere but Radon tends to accumulate in tightly sealed homes and other buildings The main source of high level Radon pollution in buildings is surrounding uranium or radium containing granite shale phosphate and pitchblende Radon enters a home through cracks in walls and foundations basement floors and other openings It may also contaminate the water supply especially in private wells Does California have high Radon levels in buildings compared with other States No Many states have much greater uranium and radium deposits in the soil and rock than California Therefore California generally has lower Radon concentrations than most other states To find out how the Radon levels compare in different parts of California go to this website http www epa gov radon zonemap california htm How do I know if my home has a high level of Radon in the air Testing a home is inexpensive and easy There are many kinds of low cost do it



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