The EPA reports that radon kills 20,000 people in the US every year. Radon, a radioactive gas produced by decaying uranium and radium in the earth, seeps into homes from the ground. It’s odorless, tasteless, invisible and prevalent. Idaho, for instance, suspects that one in three of its homes have dangerous levels of the gas, which is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
The US government has designated January National Radon Action Month, encouraging testing in homes. This fact is known by only 2% of Americans, about a third of whom plan action. Americans know generally more about this: approximately 46 million people in the US smoke cigarettes, 444,000 of whom die each year from its effects. Eight and a half million live with a serious illness caused by smoking. National Lung Cancer Awareness Month is in November. Tests to determine whether smoking is dangerous were performed half a century ago. It is.