The Oregon Health Authority urges people to test their homes for a deadly gas this month.  It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking, and it’s tasteless, odorless and invisible.


“Radon is something that comes from the ground, it’s from geology," noted Jara Popinga.  "It’s a breakdown of uranium rock; [it] transforms over a million years into radon.”


But, Popinga, Coordinator of the Oregon Radon Awareness Program, said it’s cheap and easy to test for.  And she noted winter is the best time.


“Because we have our windows closed.  Our HVAC is on, which creates a pressure differential between the outside and inside, which tends to suck in radon more.”


On Tuesday, Oregon joined other western states in a Radon Awareness poster contest, for children age 9 to 14.


While it’s more common in the Willamette Valley, Popinga said Radon is also found in southern and eastern Oregon.  And, neighboring homes can have very different levels. 


For more information on which areas of the state are at moderate to high risk of elevated radon levels, contact the Radon Awareness Program at or visit the State's Website.


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