The California Department of Public Health offered free at-home radon tests to residents from Santa Clara, Fresno and Madera counties to help raise radon awareness on Monday.
Radon, a colorless and odorless naturally occurring gas, can be found in homes. It is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The first step in reducing the risk of lung cancer due to radon exposure is finding out whether it is in your home,” said California Department of Public Health Director and State Public Health Officer Karen Smith. “The presence of radon can vary widely within a county or even within a neighborhood, and the only way to know if your family is being exposed is by having your home tested.”
The radon home test kits were offered as part of the 2015-2016 County Winter Radon Screening Survey. Testing takes up to four days and does not affect normal household activity.
The test kits were provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s State Indoor Radon Grant fund. Radon test kits can be purchased on the California Department of Public Health website for $7.95.
All Californians are encouraged to test their homes. Homes that are found to have radon can be fixed.