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Invisible and Odorless, Radon Poses Risks to Lungs
Date:3/12/2011

n regularly, he said, particularly if something happens to disturb either the house or the ground beneath it. A new addition may have been built, renovations done or excavation performed, or the homeowner may simply have noticed that the foundation has shifted.

People having a new house built can take preemptive measures against potential radon contamination by asking for certain construction techniques and features that reduce the risk of radon.

"It's most cost-effective to do it when you're building a new home," Miller said. "Ask your builder to include radon-resistant features."

The most important thing to remember, the experts say, is that radon is just about everywhere.

"Radon is a natural substance within the Earth's crust," Miller said. "It's there in the soil. The issue is, is your particular home going to allow it to seep in?"

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers more information in A Citizen's Guide to Radon.

A companion article has more on detecting radon.

How Radon Leads to Lung Cancer

(HealthDay News) -- Living with radon can be a risky proposition, health-wise.

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains it, radon gas that seeps into a house decays into radioactive particles that can become trapped in the lungs of people who breathe in the radon-containing air. As the particles break down further, they release small bursts of energy.

That's what can damage the lungs and lead to lung cancer over the long term. The time between exposure and development of the disease can be years, the agency says.

Not everyone exposed to radon will develop lung cancer. But there's no way to know who wi
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