Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil and water from the natural decay of uranium. While levels in outdoor air pose a relatively low threat to human health, radon can accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings. You can’t see, smell or taste it, but an elevated radon level in your home may be affecting the health of your family.
Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the number one cause among non-smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has radon, your risk of lung cancer can be higher.
Additional information on radon can be obtained through the U.S. EPA and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency
Click here to request a free radon testing kit for your home from Cook County's Department of Public Health.
As of December 1, 2017, the Cook County Department of Environmental Control is now the Department of Environment and Sustainability.