HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Radon is a radioactive gas and kills around 21,000 Americans each year.
Radon comes from the breakdown of radioactive elements in soils and rocks. Radon levels are very high in nearly every county in the Tennessee Valley.
Owner of Inside Out Home Inspections, Brandon Saraceni, said, "It's very prevalent. North Alabama has some of the highest radon levels in the state. It comes from any kind of penetrations in the ground, say plumbing pipes or any foundation in the soil. It just comes up through those areas."
It's colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Saraceni says it's important for everyone to test their homes for it.
Having a specialist come out and inspect your home is a great way to monitor radon levels, but if you're on a budget, you can pick up a radon gas test kit at your local hardware store. They cost around $16 and are easy to use.
Just place the test kit in the lowest living area in your home and leave it for two to four days. Then, send it off to be tested and wait for your results.
Despite popular belief, radon can seep into any home or building.
"Generally, people think because they have a new home or a home is built on a slab that radon levels won't affect that, and that's simply not the case," said Saraceni. "A lot of people think it only happens in homes that are built on a basement and that's a misconception."
Radon levels can vary from home to home, and they fluctuate often. It's recommended to check radon levels every couple years.