SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Somerset County Department of Health (SCDOH) and the Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition (RCDC) are participating in Radon Awareness Month by providing free radon testing kits to residents of Somerset County.

Both agencies are committed to spreading awareness about radon to reduce the rates of lung cancer through radon exposure. It is important that residents are aware of the need to test their homes and reduce radon levels where necessary.

Radon is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that is in the ground naturally, and sometimes it gets into homes through cracks in the floor or walls.   Radon occurs in higher concentrations in certain areas of the state, including Morris and Somerset Counties.  There is no truly “safe” level of radon since lung cancer can result from very low exposures to radon; however, the risk decreases as the radon concentration decreases.

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Having your home tested is the only effective way to determine whether you and your family are at risk of high radon exposure.

To assist residents with testing their homes for radon, the SCDOH is providing free radon test kits - while supplies last - from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 29 and 30, in the Somerset County Human Services Building, located at 27 Warren St., Somerville, and from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, in the Somerset County Administration Building, located at 20 Grove St., Somerville.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.   According to the RCDC, lung and bronchus cancers are the number one cause of cancer-related fatalities.

Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon depend mostly on:

- How much radon is in your home and the location where you spend most of your time in your home (e.g., the main living and sleeping areas).

- The amount of time you spend in your home.

- If you are a smoker or have ever smoked.

Whether you burn wood, coal or other substances that add particles to the indoor air.

For comprehensive information about radon, visit https://www.epa.gov/radon. To contact the Somerset County Department of Health or the Regional Chronic Disease Coalition of Morris and Somerset Counties, call 908-231-7155 or email HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us.