Radon is a naturally occurring gas caused by the breakdown of uranium and radium in rock, soil, and water. In North Carolina, uranium is naturally found in our geological formations.
In some homes, the difference in air pressure between the inside of the home and the soil outside of the home causes a force like a vacuum that draws radon into the home through cracks in the foundation or other openings (like gaps around pipes or joints). However, radon cannot be seen and has no odor, so it’s important to test your home for radon.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon exposure is also the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and people who have never smoked. Because their lungs are already unhealthy, smokers are particularly vulnerable to radon exposure.
- North Carolina Radon Program
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Radon web page
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Radon web page
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Radon web page