The D.C. Department of the Environment is giving away free radon test kits for District residents, and I sent away for one. Things I since have learned about radon:
(1) I had assumed, wrongly, that radon is a problem only in houses with basements. Apparently radon also can seep from the soil into houses that are built on crawlspaces and slabs.
(2) D.C. says radon exposure is the second-leading cause of cancer in this country. It uses phrases like "radioactive decay" and "alpha particles" and "lung cancer."
So, why not send away for a test kit? Here's what mine looked like when it came in the mail:
I now have the test sitting on the dining room table for 48 hours while it measures the air quality. The kit included an envelope that I'll use to send it back to the testing lab. (This post epitomizes responsible homeownership, doesn't it??)
Science, do your thing.