Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Radon
Radon is a radioactive gas that is released when uranium—a natural element found in rock and soil—breaks down and decays. Radon can leak from the ground into a home or other building through cracks in the foundation or gaps around pipes.
Long-term exposure to radon has been linked to the development of lung cancer.
Radon cannot be detected by human senses because it is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. But levels can be measured in enclosed spaces with home test kits. Radon levels in homes and other buildings can be reduced by methods such as venting the radon out of the soil under the house, moving air through crawl spaces with a fan, and increasing the pressure in basements to prevent radon from seeping in.
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.