New figures out of Portland State University indicate that radon is more of a problem for Oregon than previously believed.
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that's produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. Radon seeps into homes through foundation cracks and the EPA estimates it's responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year, nationally. Scott Burns is a geology professor at PSU. He says radon problems in Portland are well known, but other areas are now being flagged.
He explained, "Some of the hotspots around the state that we're highlighting today are places like Silverton, Astoria, Lakeview down south, Myrtle Creek down south, Milton Freewater and West Salem."
The PSU study also found elevated radon levels in Banks, Boring, Clackamas, Gladstone, Lake Oswego, Newberg, Sandy, Sauvie Island, Sherwood and Wilsonville.
A public forum is planned Thursday night, sponsored by a local radon mitigation company, Cascade Radon.