ESCANABA, Mich. (WJMN) – Public Health Delta and Menominee Counties is providing residents with free radon test kits for the month of January, which is National Radon Awareness month.

Radon is tasteless, odorless and colorless radioactive gas that naturally occurs in soil or rock. If the gas is present where there is a home, it may be able to seep in through openings in the foundation floor or walls and can build to unhealthy and unsafe levels.

The Enivronmental Pretection Agency says radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It’s responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year and an estimated 600 or more of those deaths occur in Michigan.

PHDM normally charges $16 for a radon test kit but for January they are free to encourage residents to test their homes. Test kids can be picked up at both the Delta County office at 2920 College Ave, Escanaba or the Menominee County office at 909 Tenth Ave, Menominee. One test kit per household is available in each county.

The kits are hung in the lowest livable level of the home over 3-7 days to collect radon particles in the air. After 3-7 days, the kit is sealed and mailed in a provided envelop. If unsafe measures of the gas are found, residents can mitigate it to bring it down to a safe concentration.