Radon is a radioactive gas found naturally in the environment. It is produced by the decay of uranium found in soil, rock or water.
Radon is invisible, odourless and tasteless and emits ionizing radiation. As a gas, radon can move freely through the soil, enabling it to escape into the atmosphere or seep into buildings. When radon escapes from bedrock into outdoor air, it is diluted to such low concentrations that it poses a negligible threat to health. However, if a building is built over bedrock or soil that contains uranium, radon gas can be released into the building through cracks in foundation walls or, floors, or gaps around pipes and cables.
When radon is confined to enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces, it can accumulate to high levels. Radon levels are generally highest in basements and crawl spaces because these areas are nearest to the source and are usually poorly ventilated.
Source: Health Canada