Editor's note: The following information was provided by Todd County Health and Human Services
What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that seeps up from the earth. When inhaled, it gives off radioactive particles that can damage the cells that line the lung.
Long term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. In fact, over 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S each year are from radon, making it a serious health concern for all Minnesotans.
Where does radon come from?
The soil. Radon is produced from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. Uranium breaks down to radium. As radium disintegrates it turns into radioactive gas...radon. As a gas, radon moves up through the soil and into the air you breathe.
Where is your greatest exposure to radon?
While radon is present everywhere and there is no known, safe level, your greatest exposure is where it can concentrate - indoors. And where you spend most time - at home. Your home can have radon whether it be old or new, well-sealed or drafty, and with or without a basement.
Three ways to protect you and your family:
• Test your home - obtain a test kit.
• Reduce your exposure - reduce radon gas by taking action to reduce radon entry into your home.
• Protect your loved ones - tell your family and friends to test so they are not exposed to a deadly gas in their homes.