The Douglas County Health Department has expanded its free radon test kit offer through the end of the month. The kits were made available through a grant from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Roughly 200 test kits will be distributed on a first come, first served basis through Girls Inc.’s locations in North and South Omaha, the Urban League of Nebraska, and the Latino Center of the Midlands.
Kits also can be picked up at the Douglas County Health Department offices at 1111 South 41st Street. Anyone who is interested needs only to show up at one of the agencies and ask for a kit and instructions.
The kits come with simple instructions and include a postage-paid mailer.
“The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to have it tested,” said Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour. “Even if your neighbor’s home has been tested, you still need to test your house.”
Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible and odorless radioactive gas that originates from natural deposits of radium and uranium in the soil. The gas that is formed as those compounds decay can enter your home and cause cancer. It is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and second only to smoking in causing lung cancer, responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
While radon can be found throughout the United States, the EPA has recognized Eastern Nebraska as having some of the country’s most elevated radon levels.