Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally in rocks, soil and groundwater. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that comes through cracks and gaps in buildings and homes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the most information about radon exposure in homes, especially below grade rooms, where there is the potential for longer periods of exposure.
Radon levels in the soil range from a few hundred to several thousands of pCi/L (picocuries per liter). The typical level in outside air is 0.4 pCi/L according to the EPA's A Citizen's Guide to Radon. The amount of radon that escapes from the soil to enter buildings depends on the local geology, weather, soil porosity, soil moisture, and building ventilation.
There are no immediate symptoms from exposures to radon. Lung cancer is the only health effect which has been definitively linked with radon exposure and would usually occur years (5-25) after exposure. There is no evidence that other respiratory diseases, such as asthma, are caused by radon exposure.
Questions or concerns about radon within University facilities should be reported via the Facilities Management Customer Portal. Facilities Management will collaborate with Environmental Health & Safety to assess the situation.