January is National Radon Awareness month, and the Nicollet County Health and Human Services are handing out free radon test kits.

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils.

2 out of 5 homes in Minnesota will have radon and 78% of Minnesota counties contain elevated radon levels.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non–smokers, killing more than 21,000 people each year in the U.S.

Kits are free for anyone to pick up, they include detailed instructions and should be hung up in the lowest living level of your house for 3 to 7 days.

Although not every house will contain this gas, officials encourage residents to pick up a kit to be on the safe side.

Director of Environmental Health for Nicollet and Brown County Karen Swenson said "Everyone should test their home for radon every 3 to 5 years. Or if you've done any remodeling or worked on your HVAC system or heating and ventilating system, you should test your home again for radon."

Should the results test positive, mitigating your house costs an average of $1500. A list of participating health agencies and test kit vendors can be found here.

- KEYC 12