Radon Test Kits Available for Free at Public Libraries on the Nez Perce Reservation

Lapwai, ID – Radon test kits are available for free to the public during January and February through a partnership with the Nez Perce Tribe, Prairie River Library District, and Clearwater Memorial Public Library. Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in soil and can enter buildings through cracks in concrete floors, walls, and floor drains. In Idaho, two in five homes test high for radon gas. “We hope people will visit a public library on the Nez Perce Reservation to get a free test kit. You can’t see or smell radon, so it may be a problem in your home. Testing is the only way to know if your family is at risk,” stated Johna Boulafentis, Environmental Specialist with the Nez Perce Tribe’s Air Quality Program.

Radon can impact various foundation types: crawlspace, basement, slab-on-grade, and manufactured homes with skirting. The health concern with radon is that as you breathe, the gas can release tiny bursts of energy that can damage living lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over time. In fact, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking commercial tobacco. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is higher.

Testing for radon is easy and winter is the best season to test your home. If your home tests high, there are ways to fix the problem. If your home tests low, testing again in five years is recommended or after structural home renovations or major ground shifts like earthquakes.

The short-term radon test kits have an ~$18 value and include lab analysis. Pick up a free test kit at one of the nine public libraries on the Nez Perce Reservation, while supplies last. This project was funded wholly or in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under a State and Tribal Indoor Radon Grant assistance agreement with the Nez Perce Tribe.

If you have questions about testing, please contact airquality@nezperce.org or 208.843.9381. You can learn more about radon at www.radonidaho.org or www.epa.gov/radon. To find a library near you visit www.prld.org/ or https://orofinolibrary.com/.