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The state Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging residents to perform a radon test in their homes.

The DEP said about 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have higher levels of radon than what is considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Because of the state’s geology, Pennsylvanians are at risk of exposure to high radon levels,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Fortunately, testing is as simple as one, two, three: Pick up an inexpensive test at a hardware store, open it and set it on a surface in your basement, and in a few days mail the test to the lab. It’s an easy New Year’s resolution to keep and important to your health and the health of your loved ones.”

The DEP said radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks, and it enters homes through cracks in the foundation. High levels of radon can be found in basements, but the gas can be found anywhere in the home.

According to the DEP, winter is a good time to test for radon because doors and windows are generally closed, providing more accurate results.

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