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Radon test kits free of charge from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality



Helena, Montana – To test for radon, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is providing free kits.

Radon poses a serious risk to you and your loved ones.

“Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is inert and it gets into homes and can build up and cause lung cancer,” said DEQ Small Business Ombudsman and Radon Coordinator Michael Gustafson.

In nonsmokers in the US, radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer.

This is a naturally occurring gas that can be particularly abundant in Montana’s rock and soil.

It gets into homes through microscopic crevices around utility pipes or foundation fissures.

Every two to five years, or after making any structural changes to a property, officials advise having radon testing done on the lowest habitable level of the house.

“Well, the best way to find out if you have radon is to test and DEQ does offer free radon test kits on our website and all you have to do is order it.

“The kits will be provided with return postage. Conduct the test, return the test and your results will be emailed to you,” said Gustafson.

The optimal time to conduct a test is thought to be during the winter, when there is less ventilation and a higher likelihood of windows and doors being closed.

In picocuries (pCi) per liter of air, radon is measured.

“4.0 pCi is the standard threshold for action,” Gustafson noted.

According to DEQ data, around half of the residences in Montana had radon tests that were at or above the action level.

If a home has elevated radon levels, mitigating techniques can lower the levels.

“Above 4.0 it is recommended for mitigation and we do also provide a map, broken down by county, for service providers,” said Gustafson. “Some homes have a crawl space. Some homes have a basement. The application will vary, but the biggest thing there looking at is how they can seal that barrier because that want to remove that soil gas from beneath the home.”

Visit the DEQ website to purchase your free radon test kit or for additional information.



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