TDEC providing free radon test kits for Tennesseans


Radon clocks in as 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in U.S.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – Tennesseans can pick up a free radon testing kit from The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation this month.

Gov. Bill Lee proclaimed the month “Radon Action Month.” Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally-occurring radioactive gas that threatens people’s health when trapped in confined spaces.

TESTING FOR RADON: How to protect your home from the ‘silent killer’

It’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., TDEC said, and the No.1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The only way to know if it’s in a home is to test for it, according to TDEC.

“We hope Tennesseans will take advantage of the offer of free test kits,” Dr. Kendra Abkowitz, director of the Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices at TDEC, said. “We want people to be aware of the potential for radon in their homes, that testing for it is free and easy, and that there are ways they can mitigate it if they find they have a radon problem.”

For more information and to request a free test kit, visit or call 800-232-1139.

Read more: An invisible danger in some homes could increase your risk of lung cancer

Radon does not generally present a health risk outdoors because it is diluted in the open air. Radon can, however, build up to dangerous levels inside a house. A house can act like a vacuum, drawing radon through foundation cracks and other openings. Radon may also be present in well water and can be released in a home when the water is used for showering and other household activity.  

During January, the U.S. Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes for radon. The TDEC Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices manages the TN Radon program, a statewide awareness and education initiative, where the goal is to educate the public about the risk of radon exposure in indoor environments.

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