PORTLAND, Ore. — New research by the Oregon Health Authority shows high levels of radon in some surprising areas.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the earth, the result of decaying uranium.
You can't see, taste or smell it. But it can be deadly.
"Radon is a colorless, odorless. tasteless, radioactive gas and it is the second leading cuase of lung cancer behind tobacco smoking," said Curtis Cude, manager of the OHA's Oregon Radon Awareness Program.
Using information from radon tests done across the state, OHA discovered some new areas at high risk.
Those areas include Clatskanie, Columbia City, Dundee, Scappoose, Banks and North Plains, as well as Boring, Parkdale, Milton-Freewater and La Grande.
Also making the list of high risk areas: a large swath of Portland.
And don't think just because you bought a house with a radon mitigation system already installed that you're safe.
"The code doesn't require that it be tested so be darn sure if you're buying a newly constructed home that you make sure it's tested by someone certified, even if it has a radon system built into it," said Steve Tucker, vice president of Cascade Radon.
You can pick up a do-it-yourself test kit at most hardware stores. They cost between $15 and $35.
To have a certified radon expert come in and test, it'll run between about $150 and $200.
The average cost to get a radon mitigation system installed is about $2,000.