CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Department of the Environment is focusing on new billboard messaging during Radon Gas Awareness Month to encourage residents to acquire a free test kit and check levels of the deadly naturally occurring gas in their homes.

The web address for the free test kits is drhomeair.fmbetterforms.com/#/maryland-free.

“Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers,” said Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “It is best to test for it in the winter because it can build to unhealthy levels when doors and windows are kept closed.”

Radon gas, formed by the decay of uranium in the soil, is colorless and odorless. Nearly 3 of every 10 Maryland homes are over the recommended radon action limit of 4 picocuries per liter.

Radon facts will be posted on MDE’s Facebook page every Tuesday in January along with postings throughout the month on the agency’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. For more information about radon testing, visit mde.maryland.gov/programs/Air/RadiologicalHealth/Pages/radon.aspx.

The agency is sending radon awareness notices on mobile devices and retail stores, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, Giant Food, Ace Hardware and Food Lion, also are participating in the statewide effort.

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