Radon is a gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. It comes from the decay of radioactive elements (such as uranium, thorium and radium) in soil and groundwater (North Carolina Radon Program, 2019).
According to the North Carolina Radon Program, "breathing in radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon is the likely cause of more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. In 2015, lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer deaths in North Carolina."
Every home in North Carolina is prone to having a level of radon gas and the NC Radon Program recommends that all homes be tested. This includes apartments, mobile homes, homes with basements, and homes without basements.
Testing your home for radon is as simple as opening a package, placing a radon detector in a designated area, and after the prescribed number of days (usually two to seven days), sealing the detector back in the package and mailing it to a lab for evaluation. Radon is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), a measurement of radioactivity. The U.S. EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that homes with radon levels at or above 4 pCi/L be repaired to reduce the amount of radon entering the indoor air.