The New Milford Health Department is conducting a radon testing and awareness program in cooperation with the state Department of Public Health.

The purpose is to encourage residents to test their homes for radon gas and to take corrective action when the radon level is found to be elevated.

Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and it is estimated to be responsible for 21,000 deaths each year in the United States.

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas formed from the natural decay of uranium and is found in rock, soil and water. Radon gas is odorless and invisible so people are often unaware this silent killer is inside their homes.

The DPH Radon Program recommends that all Connecticut homes be tested for radon.

Testing is recommended in the winter months when radon levels tend to build up indoors.

Testing homes for radon is easy and inexpensive. Residents may obtain a free radon test kit by calling the NMHD at 860-355-6035.

A limited number of kits are available free of charge during the month of January while supplies last.

The NMHD will be assisting residents with the test process to ensure it is performed properly. An appointment must be made for a sanitarian to visit your home at the start of the test and to collect the kit at the end.

More information is available at the DPH website: www.ct.gov/dph/radon.