State offers free radon kits

Published 4:20 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2024

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RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing 5,000 free residential radon test kits during Radon Action Month.

Gov. Roy Cooper has proclaimed January as Radon Action Month to raise the public’s awareness of radon, promote testing and mitigation for radon, and reduce the risk of lung cancer from radon. Testing is the only way to know if you or your family is at risk, and residents can order a free test kit, while supplies last, at In addition to North Carolina, Radon Action Month is also recognized nationally each January.

Radon is released from the ground into outdoor air but can accumulate and reach harmful levels when trapped in homes and other buildings. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas and is currently the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Approximately 450 people die each year in North Carolina from radon-induced lung cancer. Additionally, the risk factor for lung cancer among current or former smokers of tobacco increases by 10 times if they live in a home with elevated radon.

Information provided by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 73 of the 100 counties in North Carolina have indoor air levels of radon that are above safety standards. A level of four picoCuries per liter of air (pCi/L) or higher in your home is considered unsafe.

Everyone is exposed to some level of radon. The question is not if you are exposed to radon, but how high is your level of exposure? Elevated indoor radon is a preventable and fixable problem, similar in cost to other home improvements. The NC Radon Program recommends hiring a certified radon mitigator to fix elevated radon levels. Visit for more information and to order your free test kit while supplies last. For information on radon mitigation, visit the NCDHHS radon mitigation webpage.

In conjunction with Radon Action Month, NCDHHS will host a free virtual presentation on Jan. 9, 2024, that will highlight research conducted by Duke University on how climate change may impact radon levels, as well as the impact on historically marginalized populations. Dr. Tomi Akinyemiju, associate director of the Duke Cancer Institute, will present during this event. Individuals can register for the event online at