You can't see it. You can't smell it and it has no taste. Yet this natural byproduct of radioactive decay is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, according to new research from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Extension housing specialist Bill Angell, chair of the WHO International Radon Project's Mitigation and Prevention Working Group, says: "Our risk is higher in Minnesota partly due to our geology"--soil in the Upper Midwest contains widespread uranium and radium--"and partly due to having our homes closed up so much of the year to stay warm."