January marks National Radon Action Month

Radon test kits can be purchased at the local home improvement store, often  for less than $20. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urges everyone across the United States each January to test their homes for radon gas. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep into residences from the ground and, in some cases, well water supply, according to a press release.

“Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is both colorless and odorless, so I encourage everyone to take time this January to test and prevent radon exposure in your homes,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Millions of homes have been tested for radon and repaired, but millions more homes with high levels of this radioactive gas remain.” 

Many counties of EPA's Region 7 states — Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska — have elevated indoor radon screening levels. EPA developed the Radon Zone Map in 1993 to identify areas of the U.S. with the potential for elevated indoor radon levels. 

Annually, more than 21,000 American lives are lost due to radon-induced lung cancer. Testing for radon can be as simple as stopping by the local home improvement store to pick up a do-it-yourself testing kit, often found for less than $20, states a release. Test kits can also be purchased online, or individuals can hire a professional to conduct a radon test.

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