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Caution! This radioactive gas could be in your home

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Officials are urging homeowners to test for radon, a natural radioactive gas that can lead to health risks if left unchecked. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, studies have shown that radon is a carcinogen that can lead to lung cancer.

“Radon is known as a silent killer because you can’t see, taste, or smell it in the home, but the good news is there’s an easy way to test for it,” State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “Testing for radon should be done in the home, as well as in businesses, schools, and other buildings, so when radon is detected steps can be taken to mitigate exposure to this serious health risk.” 

Data from the EPA indicates that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers in America and is responsible for approximately 21,000 deaths every year. At least 2,900 of the deaths occurred among non-smokers.

Radon gas is naturally released from soil and rock and can enter buildings through cracks in their foundations and walls. Officials recommend testing for radon levels at least once every five years. If any remodeling or weatherizing is done or radon mitigation has been performed, re-testing is also necessary to ensure that the radon levels are under control.

New York homeowners can request a free radon test kit while supplies last. If elevated levels are found, a certified mitigation contractor is available to install a radon reduction system that can reduce levels up to 99%.

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