Free radon test kits available in Webster Co.

Free radon test kits are now available to Webster County residents.

Obtainable through Webster County Public Health, the kits can serve as a first step to determining whether one’s home has dangerous levels of radon, an odorless gas that has been determined to cause lung cancer.

According to Brandi Alexander, a spokeswoman for Webster County Public Health, the kits include a filter that is hung within a home for three to five days.

The kit is then mailed to a laboratory in North Carolina for analysis, she said.

Funding for the kits was obtained through a state grant, said Alexander. Webster County partnered with Calhoun County to obtain the funding, she said.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon is estimated to cause tens of thousands of lung cancer deaths annually. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, behind smoking, according to the U.S. surgeon general.

“Iowa has high levels of radon,” said Alexander. Webster County levels are consistent with the rest of the state, she said.

If the three-to-five-day test kit shows elevated radon levels, homeowners are advised to administer a longer test over 60 to 90 days, said Alexander.

Once data is obtained therefrom, homeowners may confer with a radon mitigation contractor to develop a reduction system suited to their particular structure, according to Alexander.

Since mid-January, about half of the 50 kits available have been claimed, Alexander said. Remaining kits are available at the Webster County Public Health office, 723 First Ave. S., on a first-come, first-serve basis.