What is Radon
Radon is a naturally occurring gaseous radioactive element. It is an invisible, odorless and tasteless, It is derived from the radioactive decay of uranium. Radon is naturally occurring and present throughout the environment at very low levels. However when high levels are present, people are at a higher risk for lung cancer.
Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States – second only to smoking. For nonsmokers radon is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer. Radon gas decays into radioactive particles (polonium) that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As they break down alpha particles damages lung tissue and leads to lung cancer over the course of time.
Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon depend mostly on; 1. How much radon is in your home, 2. The amount of time you spend in your home, 3. Whether you are a smoker or have ever smoked.
Why is Radon more of a problem in Ohio homes?
The soil in Ohio contains uranium. As the uranium breaks down and those things break down some more radon is one of the eventual "products" of this break down. Ohio homes can have high levels of radon in the indoor air because of how they are built and the climate in Ohio. Having a basement and a fairly decent length of heating season this causes a chimney effect which can help pull the soil gases and radon in to the home through small cracks and sump pumps.
All counties of the US have been assigned a zone of 1 to 3 based on radon potential. Zone 1 Highest Potential (greater than 4 pCi/L), Zone 2 Moderate Potential (from 2 to 4 pCi/L), and Zone 3 Low Potential (less than 2 pCi/L). Note:
All of Ohio’s counties all are listed as either Zones 1 or 2. (Highest & Moderate potential)
The EPA suggests testing the air in your home first as this is the main source of elevated Radon levels.