Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and causes thousands of cancer deaths each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Broome County Health Department is offering free radon testing kits as a part of National Radon Action Month in January.
Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that seeps into your home typically through the basement. Radon gas is heavy and will pool in the lower level of homes but can be found anywhere in a building. Radioactive particles enter the lungs and potentially can cause cancer.
The New York State Department of Health has deemed Broome County among many other counties in the state at high risk for radon.
The Health Department said it's important to test your home for radon, especially if you live in a high risk area and/or spend a lot of time in basements.
Testing is as simple as leaving the kit in a specific area for a set number of days and returning it to a testing facility. Results are generally available within one to two weeks.
If high levels of radon is detected in your home, it can easily be brought down to a safe level, according to the Broome County Health Department.
The Broome County Health Department can discuss radon test results and offer suggestions on possible mitigation measures.
Radon kits can be picked up at the Health Department at 225 Front St., Binghamton, NY 13905. Kits will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.