ADPH: Free radon test kits offered for Alabama households

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Special to the Advance

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. To increase public awareness of radon and  promote testing and mitigation, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) is offering one free radon test kit per Alabama household as part of an initiative to reduce dangerous radon exposure.

Radon is a radioactive gas that cannot be seen or smelled. It is produced when uranium breaks down in soil and water. Radon is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air, but it can increase the risk of lung cancer when it is trapped in buildings. Anyone can get lung cancer from breathing in high levels of radon over time. Symptoms of dangerous radon exposure include persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1 in 15 homes has a radon problem. In Alabama, 15 counties have been identified as having the highest potential for elevated radon levels: Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Morgan, Shelby and Talladega.

The only way to tell if a home has a radon problem is to check with a radon testing kit. Alabama households can order one free radon test kit online via ADPH. Recipients are only responsible for paying a return shipping fee.

For more information about the ADPH and radon testing, contact Nick Swindall at John.Swindall@adph.state.al.usand visit the radon web page at www.alabamapublichealth.gov/radon.