January is National Radon Action Month and the Naugatuck Valley Health District (NVHD) is recommending residents test their homes for radon gas, the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.

The NVHD will hold an educational presentation at the Kellogg Center, 500 Hawthorne Avenue in Derby, on Jan. 22 from noon to 1 p.m., where residents can learn about radon and can pick up their free radon test kit. Space is limited, so register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Radon2020.

Additional free home radon test kits are available to residents of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Derby, Naugatuck, Seymour and Shelton while supplies last. Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, individuals may come to the second floor of the health district office, 98 Bank Street, Seymour, on weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m., while supplies last. Supplies are limited so call Jamie at 203- 881-3255 X108 to make sure test kits are still available.

The kits are made by Air Chek, which offers instructions on use on its website. The kit, analysis and shipping are retailing for $16.99 so residents should take advantage of the free kits while supplies last.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed from the natural decay of uranium and is found in rock, soil and water. Although radon in outdoor air poses a relatively low risk to human health, the odorless, colorless and tasteless gas can enter homes,becoming a health hazard.

There is definitive evidence that exposure to high levels of residential radon over a long period of time can damage the lungs and lead to lung cancer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.

The EPA recommends that homes with radon levels at or above 4.0 pCi/L be fixed. To obtain a list of qualified radon mitigation contractors, visit the DPH Radon Program website at www.ct.gov/dph/radon.