Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas found at low levels in most soil, is produced in the soil when the element uranium starts to break down. The health effects of high radon levels were first seen in the increased cases of lung cancer found in underground uranium miners in the United States and around the world. Radon gas seeps into cracks in the foundation of homes from surrounding soil; about 1 in 20 homes has elevated radon levels. Research estimates that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year may be linked to radon exposures in homes.
Check the radon levels in your home regularly. A ventilation system in your basement can dramatically reduce radon levels.