Radon Reality
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in the United States. This colorless, odorless gas originates from tiny amounts of uranium in materials such as rocks, soil, bricks and concrete. And it has caught the attention of U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, who issued a National Health Advisory on the dangers of radon in January. As many as one in 15 American homes has a high radon level, Carmona says.

Experts recommend testing for radon every two years, and any time you move or remodel. Short-term test kits are available by mail for just $9.95, and long-term kits for just $20, with coupons available from the National Safety Council at Most radon problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), can be fixed with inexpensive venting techniques. Contact the EPA at or 1-800-SOS-RADON.

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Christina Elston is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in family health issues.