A Man surveying and home basement
Photo: The Washington Post/Getty Images
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It Came From Beneath

Your basement isn't just an entry point for water leaks and marauding mice. It can also be contaminated with an oft-overlooked radioactive gas known as radon. Found in houses both new and old, the colorless, odorless gas is formed by the decay of uranium, an element found in rock within the earth. If present in the soil surrounding your house, it can seep in through porous building materials and cracks in the foundation. According to experts, nearly one out of every 15 houses in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated levels of radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Learn about testing your home at www.epa.gov.
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