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Simple Radon Test Can Protect Your Health; New Yorkers Urged to Test for Radon

Release Date: 01/13/2010
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664,

(New York, N.Y.) What is odorless, colorless and could be a serious health problem that may be right under your nose? The answer is radon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants you to know that radon is a naturally-occurring gas that could be seeping into your home right now. Although testing for radon is easy and inexpensive, only one in five homeowners has actually tested his or her home for radon. That figure is too low given that, each year, over 20,000 people die from lung cancer caused by exposure to radon; it is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths in non-smokers.

January is National Radon Action Month and EPA and the Surgeon General are urging people to protect their health by testing their homes. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix it and protect yourself and your family. Many areas of New York are at high risk for radon due to their geology, but any home can have a radon problem.

“Radon is a problem that can be easily fixed, and I urge all New Yorkers to test their homes,” said Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. "The great thing about this kind of problem is that it is fairly easy to solve and there are many ways to get help."

Nearly 80 percent of American homes have not been tested for radon, perhaps because you can't see, smell or taste it. Yet, it may be the most potent carcinogen in your home. In fact, radon can build to unhealthy levels, especially during colder months when windows and doors are kept closed. The invisible radioactive gas can seep into your home from underground, and can reach harmful levels if trapped indoors.

New York residents can obtain a radon test kit from the New York State Department of Health for $8.50. The cost includes shipping, handling and analysis. Test results are sent directly to the person who submitted the kit. To purchase a radon test kit, call the state’s Radon Program toll-free at 1-800-458-1158 extension 27556 or download an application at

Test kits are also available in some local hardware stores and from some local health departments. If the test shows that there is a problem, the homeowner should contact their state radon office for advice on how to fix it. Most solutions are simple and relatively inexpensive.

For more information about Radon Action Month:

To download print, video or audio versions of free EPA Public Service Announcements,