MOUNT MORRIS — According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Livingston County is one of many counties in New York State considered to have a high potential for high radon levels.

Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. It can be present in your home without you knowing and has been identified by the Surgeon General as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The EPA reports that radon is responsible for about 20,000 deaths annually.

Radon is produced naturally by the decay of radioactive material in soil, rock and in groundwater. It moves upward in the soil and can enter your home through cracks and other holes in your home’s foundation or with groundwater from a well. Houses located on highly permeable, gravel concentrated soils, or on or around limestone rock formations may be at higher risk for elevated indoor radon levels.

An estimated 1 in 15 homes in the U.S. have high radon levels. In Livingston County, about 36 percent of homes tested have radon levels of >=4 pCi/L, which is the EPA’s “action” limit, and 25 percent of Livingston County homes have 2-<4pCi/L, for which the EPA suggests that homeowners “consider action,” according to data from the state Department of Health.

The only way to determine if radon is a concern in your home is to test for it using a radon detection kit.

The Livingston County Department of Health reminds residents that these kits are available free of charge to Livingston County residents who are homeowners.

For more information or to get a free radon detection kit, contact the Center for Environmental Health at (585) 243-7280 or go to

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