Radon – A radioactive gas formed by the natural breakdown of uranium.
Make sure to test for radon when buying a home, especially if the home has a basement. Radon comes form the ground, into the pores of the basement floor, French Drains, etc. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas which has been proven to cause lung cancer, resulting in an estimated 20,000 deaths per year in the U.S. That’s the bad news. Some people dispute these numbers. Some scientists claim the numbers are higher.
The good news is radon is cheap to test accurately ($100-$125) and is rather simple to eliminate ($1,500) with ventilation. Most newer homes have radon systems already in place. Radon is know to be more prevalent in certain areas, but has at times little consistency from house-to-house, neighbor-to-neighbor.
Homes without basements will be too difficult to test accurately, especially if occupied, with occupants opening windows and doors. Most radon gets “trapped” in the basement area, making it easier to test for. Make sure to use more accurate testing measures, using machines, not canisters. Home Depot and Lowes also sell canisters, making it simple for consumers to do self-tests.
For more information, click here. (Wikipedia)