LIVINGSTON, NJ — January is National Radon Action Month. Starting January 16, 2020 Essex Regional Health Commission in conjunction with the Essex County Health Department and local health departments in Essex County will distribute free radon test kit to Essex County residents while supplies last.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is invisible, odorless, and tasteless. Radon gas is released harmlessly from the ground into outdoor air and enters homes through openings that are in contact with the ground, such as cracks in the foundation, small openings around pipes, and sump pits.

High radon levels are associated with a greater risk of lung cancer. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Overall Radon is second leading cause of lung cancer resulting in 21,000 deaths in the United States per year.  

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Radon testing is easy! Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommends that all homes be tested for radon. The best time to test for radon is during the heating season, so January is the perfect time.

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. Homes with radon level of 4 pCi/L or higher should be fixed (mitigated).  If your test result is less than 4.0 pCi/L, you may want to discuss with mitigation companies whether the radon level can be brought down still further.

To obtain a test kit, please visit Essex Regional Health Commission office located at 204 Hillside Ave in Livingston between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm, Monday through Friday.  You can call first at 973-251-2059.

If you live in Belleville, Maplewood or City of Orange, please contact your local health department to receive the free test kit.

Information about radon is available on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website at , and on New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website at