Hospitals sometimes use radon in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. LiveScience says, "Hospitals used to produce it themselves by pumping radon from a radium source and sealing it in small tubes called seeds or needles." Most hospitals no longer produce seeds in this way, as they are able to purchase customized seeds from suppliers.
A bigger concern than its use is the potential harm caused by radon. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates radon to be responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually.
According to the EPA, radon gas results from the natural radioactive decay of uranium, which is in almost all soils. It moves through the ground into the air, it enters the home through holes and cracks in the foundation, and levels continue to build as homes trap the gas.
Radon gas is everywhere in the United States, and it contaminates homes in every state. While it is not possible to smell or see radon, simple tests are available to check for it inside a house. Owners should test any home below the third floor, including new construction and radon-resistant homes, after occupancy. Testing requires only a few minutes and it is easy and affordable. If the test indicates a problem, the EPA says highly effective radon reduction systems are available at an affordable cost.