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Community Environmental Health

IDEM Environmental Health > Radon > Radon: General Information and Health Effects Radon: General Information and Health Effects

Radon: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You. You can't see radon, can't smell it or taste it. You may never have even heard of it. But radon may be a problem in your home that could harm your family.

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that can be found all over the United States. Radon comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air we breathe. Radon tends to accumulate in enclosed structures, so it is particularly a problem in homes. Radon is estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year. Breathing air that contains radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.

How To Reduce Your Chances Of Getting Lung Cancer From Radon:

  • Test your home for radon and reduce high levels.
  • Be aware that if you smoke and your home has high radon levels, the risk of lung cancer is especially high.

In Indiana, close to 1 in 4 homes tested found elevated radon levels. On the map, the red counties are expected to have the highest average radon levels. The orange counties are expected to have medium average radon levels. No counties in Indiana are expected to be in the low zone. For more information visit the U.S. EPA Map of Radon Zones for Indiana.