GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's not surprising the number one cause of lung cancer is smoking. You might think secondhand smoke is the number 2 cause, but you'd be wrong.
Radon gas kills more people. This gas is responsible for 20,000+ lung cancer deaths every year.
“Radon, which is a colorless, odorless gas that can be present in any of our homes also can go undetected. You should test your house to make sure you don't have high levels of radon,” said Dr. Mohamed Mohamed, Thoracic Medical Oncologist, at Cone Health Cancer Center.
You wouldn't know if radon gas was in your house.
It's colorless and odorless. It gets into your home through the soil. It creeps through cracks in your foundation, gets into the well water, and the spaces between your pipes, and comes up through your floating wood floors. There are so many ways it can be in your home.
The EPA has a map of every state, showing the counties with the highest numbers of homes with elevated radon exposure.
The counties in red have more homes with elevated radon than those in the orange or yellow, but the EPA is quick to say, homes with elevated radon levels have been found in all county zones.
“You should definitely take it seriously but you really don't need to walk away from the home. It's actually pretty easy to remove radon, and it's not that expensive,” said Paul Hope of Consumer Reports.
Home testing is done by leaving a tester in the home for several days. You can hire a company to do testing or you can get a testing kit and do it yourself.
North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services has guidance for you on how to do the test yourself and how to hire a company.