Free radon testing kits are now available to all 100 North Carolina counties, according to a press release earlier this week.
The kits are available through the NC Radon Program, which is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. Officials are distributing the kits through county health departments, although the press release noted supplies are limited.
“Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. among non-smokers and, for no cost, citizens can test their homes and protect themselves and their loved ones,” says Mark Payne, Assistant Secretary of Audit and Health Service Regulation in a written statement.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that is invisible, odorless and tasteless. Radon is released from the ground into outdoor air, but it can accumulate and reach harmful levels when trapped in homes and other buildings. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.