During the month of February, the Missoula  Health Department is providing radon test kits at the reduced price of six dollars per kit. Environmental Health Specialist for the Missoula County Health Department, Todd Seib explains where radon comes from and why homeowners should be concerned.

The kits are very accurate, and work by binding the byproducts of radon such as polonium, bismuth and lead onto a matrix which can be read online. Over 50% of Missoula homes that have been tested for radon were found to have levels exceeding the federal action level. The average rate in Missoula according to Mr. Seib could lead to a "lifetime cancer risk of 1 in 100." The risks are thought to be even higher for children, whose faster respiratory rate causes more interaction with radon and the lungs. If radon is found in the home it can be effectively mitigated, but you'll never know if you don't test.