JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - It's a gas that is undetectable to your senses, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the leading cause for lung cancer in non-smokers.
Radon is radioactive and state officials say it causes nearly 20,000 deaths a year; we found out 70 percent of Tennesseans are at a higher risk.
"It occurs everywhere in the world, but because of the geology in the area it allows for it to come up from the ground easier," said Rick Stevens, a radon mitigator.
Stevens says the winter months are the worst for the gas. "One [reason] is your home is closed up in the winter and your house wants to work like a flu so it sucks gases up from underneath the house," he said.
However, Stevens says, you can buy a simple test that could save your family by detecting the problem early. "It's all postage paid, you just sent it to an independent lab. [There are] easy instructions on what you need to do to test the apartments or home," he says.
If your results come back with high levels of radon, you may need a venting system.
"We can come and take a look at the house, give people an idea of what it's going to take, what they systems look like and how to get it out of the house," said Stevens.
We also found out homeowners are not the only ones at risk; so are people in apartments.
We learned in the State of Tennessee and Virginia, apartment owners are not required to test the buildings before you move in.
- Updated Southwest Virginia man dies after being hit by car
- Hawkins EMS remains only service during feasibility study
- College students voice opinions on presidential debate
- Bristol, Tenn. household divided over presidential election
- Sale of the old mill property still planning to go through after fire