Idahoans urged to test homes for radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer in U.S.

Niki Forbing-Orr

In Idaho, 2 in 5 tested homes across the state have higher-than-recommended radon levels. January is Radon Action Month, and the Department of Health and Welfare is encouraging Idahoans to test their homes for radon and raising awareness about the risks of radon in your community.

Living in a home with high radon levels can be dangerous for your health. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking, causing an estimated 21,000 deaths each year in the U.S. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer can increase even more.

Radon, an invisible radioactive gas, builds up in homes over time. Radon gas forms from natural deposits of uranium and radium in Idaho soils. The gas enters homes and buildings through gaps and cracks in crawl spaces and foundations and has been found in every county in Idaho

“Because you can’t see, taste, or smell radon, people may not realize they have high radon levels in their home or be aware of the health effects,” said Megan Larson, Environmental Health Program Manager. “The only way to know if you have a radon problem is to test your home.”

Home radon tests are simple and inexpensive — and they can help save lives. Visit to purchase a discounted radon test kit for $9.95, That covers all costs including shipping, handling, and test results. High radon levels can be fixed with the help of a licensed radon mitigation professional.

For more information about how to test your home or where to find a test kit, call the Idaho Careline at 2-1-1, or visit