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Kenny Vigil
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Is There a Deadly Gas in Your Home? It Takes Only $7 to Find Out!

State Health and Environment Departments encourage radon testing in homes of smokers.

The New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Environment Department are encouraging New Mexicans, especially smokers and former smokers, to test their homes for radon, an odorless and invisible gas. January is National Radon Action Month. Radon testing is easiest and most effective in cooler weather months when houses tend to be closed up for warmth.

“Since we can’t see or smell radon, people tend to downplay exposure and ignore the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH.

Breathing in radon can increase the risk of lung cancer. This risk is much higher when a person is exposed to radon and also smokes. This is why it’s especially important for current and former smokers to test their homes for radon.

This gas can build up to dangerous levels inside new and old homes. The only way to know if radon gas is seeping into your home is by testing for it. Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes a few minutes. Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores and are typically priced under $25. However, New Mexico residents can take advantage of a discount offered through the state Environment Department, which offers test kits for only $7. To learn more about radon and this special offer, visit the Environmental Public Health Tracking website.

The New Mexico Department of Health provides downloadable resources about radon and information on how you can order a low-cost kit on its Environmental Public Health Tracking website. If your test shows evidence of radon gas at levels of health concern in your home, call the Environment Department at 505-476-8608 to get information about ways you can reduce radon gas in your home and minimize your exposure. Radon problems can be fixed by qualified contractors for a cost similar to that of many common home repairs such as painting or having a new water heater installed. If you smoke and want to quit you can learn about cessation options by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or online at

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

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