Radon is a radioactive compound that causes several different forms of cancer, such as lung cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Any symptoms related to these cancers, such as chest pain, coughing up blood, breast lumps and strange skin growths should be assessed immediately by a doctor. Radon is not known to produce any short-term symptoms as a result of exposure.
Radon is not likely to cause health problems in people who are exposed to small amounts in their homes or elsewhere, according to the American Cancer Society. Radon exposure must occur over many years at a high rate to begin to produce health symptoms. Individuals who smoke are at a highly increased risk of being negatively affected by radon exposure, since their lung health is already compromised.
Radon is found all over the United States. Exposure becomes a threat when elevated levels of the gas seep into homes through cracks and crevices and become trapped in areas like the basement. People are also exposed to radon in commercial buildings and schools. The American Cancer Society advises that people use a home detection kit to test various areas of their homes to uncover possible radon contamination.