Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, highly radioactive gas. It is produced by the natural radioactive decay of uranium 238 in rock, soil, and water. Radon and its associated by-products emit alpha and beta particles and gamma rays. These particles attach themselves to other airborne particles such as dust, and are inhaled into your lungs. Once inside your lungs, they lodge in the mucus membranes. The damage from these particles can cause cancer.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and it is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America. Radon claims about 21,000 lives annually. The amount of radon and the length of time you have been exposed to it determine your lung cancer risk from this sometimes deadly gas. The higher the level, the higher the risk.