Radon gas is formed by the natural breakdown of radium, a by-product of the decay of uranium found in soil, rock and water. You cannot see, smell or taste radon but it is the second leading cause of cancer in North America . The EPA reports that over 20,000 deaths per year are attributed to radon exposure. One in a thousand houses in Canada have high levels of radon and need to be addressed immediately. The only way to find out what the levels of radon are in your home is to have a professional test for it. Low readings at a neighbours' house does not mean that you are safe.
There are two ways to be exposed to radon-inhalation and ingestion. Radon comes into your home from the surrounding soil and enters through cracks and gaps in the foundation, pipes, sumps, drains, walls etc. Ground water can also pick up radon, bring it into your home, and be released through the shower, washer, dishwasher and faucet. Radon enters the home by this means more so in private well systems. Radon naturally breaks down and produces radon daughters (progeny), which can be inhaled deep into the lungs.