Winter is the time to test for radon

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) urges Connecticut residents to test their homes for radon gas, the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Health officials estimate that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. A naturally occurring radioactive gas formed from the natural decay of uranium, radon is found in rock, soil and water. While radon in outdoor air poses a relatively low threat to human health, it can enter homes from the surrounding soil and become a health hazard inside buildings. Because you can’t see or smell radon, people are often unaware that this silent killer could be in their homes.

Testing for radon and reducing elevated levels is important and could save your life or the lives of your loved ones. The DPH Radon Program recommends that all Connecticut homes should be tested for radon. Testing is recommended in the winter months, when radon tends to be highest. Testing homes for radon is simple and inexpensive.

The Wilton Health Department is offering free radon testing beginning Jan. 2, 2017. The health department received only 49 kits that will be available to the first 49 callers. An appointment is required to have the health department come out and perform the test. Please note, this testing is not for those seeking a radon report for a residential or commercial property transaction.

To set up an appointment or for more information, call Jennifer Zbell, town sanitarian, at 203-563-0176.

Radon test kits may be purchased at many hardware stores and from the American Lung Association of New England by calling 401-533-5173 or visiting

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that homes with radon levels at 4.0 pCi/L or higher should be fixed. Homeowners can further reduce their potential lung cancer risk by fixing homes that are below 4 pCi/L. Smokers exposed to radon have a much higher risk for developing lung cancer.

Radon problems can be corrected by qualified radon contractors, with costs typically ranging between $1,200 and $1,500. A homeowner should hire a qualified radon mitigation (reduction) contractor to decrease airborne radon levels. To learn more about radon and to obtain a list of qualified radon mitigation contractors, visit the DPH Radon Program website at or call 860-509-7367. Or contact the Wilton Health Department at the above address and phone number.