The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging homeowners to check their homes for the second leading cause of lung cancer.

You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it can be a health hazard if levels in a home are high. As part of Radon Action Month, IEMA spokeswoman Patti Thompson says homeowners should have their home tested.

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“Homeowners can purchase a do-it-yourself radon test,” Thompson says. She says they can be found in home improvement stores and the instructions are straightforward. A device used for testing is sent to a laboratory for analysis. Thompson says Radon levels in a home should not exceed 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).

A new law enacted this year requires day care centers and day care homes to test for the radioactive gas. Starting next year, any day care centers applying for a renewal or initial license will have to show proof that the facilities had been tested in the past three years.

Radon is the byproduct of naturally occurring uranium found in soil as it decomposes.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/