Radon is a radioactive, carcinogenic gas, and one of the many naturally occurring chemical element that make up different types of bedrock. It has no color, taste, or odor, even at very high levels. Radon gas seeps into our homes through foundation materials built on bedrock, and when it is agitated as water is delivered through fixtures and becomes airborne. Even houses built on slabs can emit dangerous levels of radon. Homes without foundations can also have high levels of radon gases present. Houses over sand and gravel most commonly test at higher levels.
Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths yearly. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Maine consider a radon test level over 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) in the air and 10,000 pCi/L in water, as an average level, to be dangerous. Radon can be found in elevated levels ANYWHERE in Maine. In fact, the average residential radon level in the state is 4.1 pCi/l, and even higher in the southern portion of the state. Most of the radon in Maine homes comes from the soil gasses, but is certainly prevalent in the groundwater derived from drilled wells as well.
Simple, affordable radon tests can reveal what the radon level is in your home air and/or water. High levels of radon can be mitigated with very straightforward and affordable systems that can be installed in a short period of time.
If you are at all concerned: