You’ve heard people talk about radon, but what is it and why is it so dangerous?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can’t be seen or smelled, Radon is extremely radioactive and can be deadly. You see, radon seeps into our homes, typically through the basement and elevated exposure to radon can actually cause lung cancer. Radon exposure is actually the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Some parts of New York State have higher levels of radon than others and according to the New York State Department of Health, Broome County is one of those areas.

So how do we protect ourselves if we can’t see or smell radon? The simple answer is to test for it. You can either buy a radon detector, or you can take advantage of the free radon testing kits that the Broome County Department of Health is handing out (while supplies last).

The tests are incredibly easy to conduct- simply leave the kit in a specified area for the number of days indicated on the packaging and then return it to a testing facility. Test results are typically available within two weeks and if you do have a dangerous level of radon in your home, the Broome County Health Department will offer suggestions on what you can do to handle it.

Radon kits can be picked up at the Broome County Health Department at 225 Front St., Binghamton, NY 13905. Again, keep in mind that kits will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.