WOOD RIVER — Low-cost kits to test for the household presence of radon -- an odorless, naturally occurring gas that causes lung cancer -- are now available at the Madison County Health Department.
The department is selling the three-day test kits for $5 apiece, including all testing fees and pre-paid postage to mail in the kits to test labs.
County residents can buy test kits during regular business hours at the health department offices at 101 E. Edwardsville Road, Wood River. To find out more, call (618) 692-8954, ext. 3.
"With the presence of radon in this geographic area, we encourage residents to take advantage of this opportunity and test for radon in their homes," said Mary Cooper, the county environmental health manager.
If the test results indicate unsafe levels of radon exposure, the health department can provide consumers with a list of license radon measurement and mitigation professionals.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that occurs naturally in soil, and that enters homes through sump pumps, foundation cracks, construction joints and exposed soil in crawl spaces.
More than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States are caused by radon exposure.
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