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BOISE — The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has discovered, during 20 years of monitoring, that nearly 40 percent of Idaho homes tested for radon have higher-than-recommended levels of the naturally-occurring radioactive gas. This is in homes in every Idaho county.

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas formed from natural deposits of uranium and radium in Idaho soils. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States; the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes 21,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

The only way to know if a home has high levels of radon is to test for it. This involves placing a small measuring device in the home for several days. The kit is then mailed to a lab for processing, with results returned to the homeowner. Visit to order a radon test kit, with simple instructions, for $9.95. The cost for the test covers shipping, handling and test results.

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