ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Levels of radon, an odorless, tasteless, and colorless radioactive gas above the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level was detected in 13.9% of homes in New York. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association (ALA).

Because January is National Radon Action Month, the ALA is urging homeowners, renters, real estate agents, building managers, and school administrators to test for radon.

“Radon in homes is more common than you think. In fact, at least 1 in 15 homes in the U.S. have elevated levels of radon and this is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States,” said Albert Rizzo, M.D., chief medical officer for the ALA. “The good news is that it is easy to test for radon. Do-it-yourself test kits are simple to use and inexpensive.”

Five facts about radon

  1. Lung cancer from radon kills an estimated 21,000 people a year in the U.S.
  2. Smoking and radon exposure can increase the risk of lung cancer more.
  3. Radon in a home can only be found by testing the air.
  4. Radon testing should be done when people buy a new home or after a new home is built.
  5. If high levels of radon are found in a home, get professional help to reduce levels.