High radon readings in Cumberland County

HAMPDEN TOWNSHIP, Pa -- People in at least one Cumberland County community are getting letters saying to test their homes for a dangerous gas.

That gas is radon.

It is colorless, odorless and it may cause cancer.

It explains a recent home test in Hampden Township showed the gas at 100 parts per liter.

That's 25 times higher than the safe threshold of four parts per liter.

That's why the Pennsylvania Department of Environment Protection and American Lung Association of Pennsylvania wants people who live in the area to get a radon kit and test their homes regularly.

They're concerned because the lung association estimates radon causes 21,000 cancer deaths a year.

The letter states people can send in their information and get a free radon test kit.

The director of environmental health for the lung association says they've already received about 1,000 kit requests.

"There's no way to tell in advance what a radon level is going to be in a house just from looking at it or from the geology there, the only way to know is to test," said Kevin Stewart, the Director of Environmental health with the American Lung Association of Pennsylvania.

It takes about 2 to 4 weeks for the kits to arrive.

Officials say it's a good idea for people across the commonwealth to test their homes.

If you do one of these tests and end up with high radon levels, you shouldn't panic just yet.

You'll need to get in touch with a certified radon mitigation firm to look into it further.