What is Radon?
Radon is a gas that is created in soil where uranium and radium are found. These elements can be found everywhere in the world, but at different concentrations. Buildings in contact with the soil are subject to radon entry, as radon can enter into buildings through any opening or crack. Any building, in Arizona, has the potential for elevated levels of radon. The more uranium found in the soil, the higher the potential for elevated radon levels.
The real question is not, “Is there radon?” but rather, “How much radon is there, and does it present a health risk to me?”
Uranium breaks down to radium, which in turn decays into radon gas. Radon is an inert gas, it does not react or combine with the elements in the ground and it is colorless and odorless. Because of this, radon can move up through the soil into the atmosphere, where radon is easily diluted and presents little concern. However, when radon enters a building from the soil below, it can accumulate and become a health concern.
You cannot see or smell radon. There is no way that your body can sense the presence of radon, yet long-term exposure to elevated levels of naturally-occurring gas can increase a person's chances of developing lung cancer. Currently there are no known safe levels of radon.