Environment

Louisville’s Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness is giving away radon tests to Jefferson County residents this month.

Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that’s created naturally as uranium in soil breaks down. Then it makes its way into homes. Connie Mendel of the Department of Public Health said radon found in homes of all types, but geological factors contribute to its presence in Kentucky and Jefferson County at rates twice the national average.

“Radon can be in any home, whether it’s new or old, drafty or well-filled, with or without basements, you can have radon in a home,” Mendel said.

And after long-term exposure, radon can cause cancer. It’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.; smoking is No. 1. But people exposed to both cigarette smoke and radon are especially susceptible to lung cancer.

Metro Government has 1,700 free radon test kits for Jefferson County residents; here’s a link to request one. Kentucky residents not in Jefferson County can request a free radon test kit here.

Erica Peterson reports on energy and the environment for WFPL.