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The Montclair Health Department will be offering free radon test kits to township residents on a first-come, first-served basis during January, which is Radon Action Month.

The Environmental Protection Agency has designated January Radon Action Month and the local health department, in cooperation with the state Department of Environmental Protection Radon Program, is looking to raise awareness about this naturally occurring radioactive gas.

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium and radium break down in the soil and in rock formations, the township said in a press release. Radon gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through cracks in the foundation and openings around pumps, pipes and drains.

The kit that the township is offering contains a radon canister and a self-addressed and stamped envelope to send the canister to a lab for testing.

If the test indicates a radon problem, radon mitigation systems can be installed at a cost similar to that of other home repairs. A list of certified mitigation companies can be found at www.njradon.org.

“Radon is a serious health risk,” Township Health Officer and Health Department Director Susan Portuese said in a statement. “It is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. But because radon is invisible and odorless it is easy to ignore this potential hazard in our own homes.”

 

For more information contact the Montclair Health Department at 973-509-4970.