January has been designated as Maine Radon Action Month. Radon is a very real problem here in Maine. It's important that all buildings be tested for it, either by a do-it-yourself kit or by a by an expert. From there, radon can be mitigated and your space made safe from it.

We had high radon levels in our last home, and have an appointment to test for it in our new home. Because radon is invisible and odorless, you can be exposed to high levels of it for long periods of time. According to the American Cancer Society, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer nationally and is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers

Radon is a gas that comes up from rock and soil beneath your home, daycare, hospital, school, workplace or any other building. It is naturally occuring, and even if your neighbor doesn't have high levels of radon, it doesn't mean that you don't.

If you smoke and are being exposed to radon, your chances of developing lung cancer goes way up. If you must smoke, do it outside and away from windows and vents. Smoking indoors also puts your family and pets at a higher risk for cancers.

It's important to not only check your home and other buildings for radon, but also your water if it comes from a well.

Learn more about testing for, and mitigating radon at maine.gov.