What is radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that seeps up from the earth. When inhaled, it gives off radioactive particles that can damage the cells that line the lung. Long term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. In fact, over 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the US each year are from radon, making it a serious health concern for all Minnesotans.
Where does radon come from?
The soil. Radon is produced from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. Uranium breaks down to radium. As radium disintegrates it turns into radioactive gas—radon. As a gas, radon moves up through the soil and into the air you breathe.
How dangerous is radon?
Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer (after tobacco) in smokers. Thankfully, this risk should be entirely preventable through awareness and testing.
Where is your greatest exposure to radon?
While radon is present everywhere (Radon Testing Data Map of Minnesota), and there is no known, safe level, your greatest exposure is where it can concentrate—indoors. And where you spend most time—at home. Your home can have radon whether it be old or new, well-sealed or drafty, and with or without a basement.
How we can help you
The Department of Radiation Safety has radon test results for most areas of campus.
Rarely has the department found a concern.
With that said, we are willing to test ANY university building and will work with building manager(s) and occupants to determine the scope of testing needed. There is NO COST for most small monitoring projects.