The State of Oregon Tuesday asked residents to test their basements for a dangerous, sometimes fatal gas.
It's called radon.
It comes from the ground.
It's a post-ice age bi-product of decaying uranium in the soil.
NE Portland is notorious for having the highest peak concentrations of radon in the state.
Exposure to the odorless, invisible gas often occurs in basements.
If radon exposure levels are too high for too long, it can cause lung cancer.
The State will soon update its 11-year-old, county-by-county data on radon testing.
But you don't have to wait for those results.
You can test for radon yourself.
It's never too late if you test -even later on in life- and fix the problem. You're going to lower your risk of developing lung cancer, said State Radon Coordinator Brett Sherry.
Inspired by their six-week-old daughter, The Cannon's in NE Portland had experts install a system to vent radon out of their basement.
Babies are so delicate the environment they're in can really affect them, said Laura Cannon.
The Cannon's had a radon reading in their basement twice as high as the federal recommended safety level.
It cost them about $1,600 to get rid of the problem.
Radon detector kits are available at hardware stores everywhere, ranging in cost from about $15 to $40.
Experts say it's a cheap price to pay for peace of mind.