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State offers free testing kits for Radon Action Month

A radon kit from the 1980s.
National Cancer Institute
A radon kit from the 1980s.

The state of Montana is providing homeowners with free radon tests through January, National Radon Action Month.

According to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the naturally occurring gas can leak into homes from uranium in soil, rock and water, and eventually build up to levels of concern. Radon can increase the chances of lung cancer and is linked to thousands of deaths a year nationwide.

The DEQ says around half of Montana’s homes are built with radon resistance. For example, layering gravel before laying the foundation or using heavy duty plastic sheeting as a barrier.

In the case of high radon levels, mitigation measures can vary from $500 to more than $2,000 dollars. People can sign up for free radon test kits on the Department of Environmental Quality’s website.

A spokesperson said there are about 800 kits available with more being added.