Gnome Tree For The Win

Courtesy of

City Of Troy, Montana

And the winner of the pizza party (Lunch) is Ms. Grahams Class with 546 likes on the Gnome Tree. Congratulations. Thank you to all the students and teachers for helping to decorate and make Troy a little more beautiful.


Gnome tree-Photo Courtesy of City of Troy, Montana

DEQ Recognizes National Radon Action Month with Free Radon Test Kits For Montana Residents

Submitted by

Moira Davin


January is National Radon Action Month. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is offering free radon test kits for Montanans to test radon levels in their homes. Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can build up in homes over time. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to a risk of lung cancer. Testing is the only way to know whether there is a radon problem in a home and the winter months are the best time to test because radon levels are typically at their highest. This is because there is typically less ventilation from doors and windows during winter.

“It’s very easy for radon problems to go unnoticed because the harmful health effects are based on long-term exposure,” explained Dan Lloyd, DEQ’s energy bureau chief. “We encourage Montanans to test for radon especially since the geology of the state can lead to elevated levels.”

Radon is caused by the breakdown, or decay, of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon gas can enter homes through miniscule cracks in the floor or small spaces around utility pipes and can accumulate unless properly mitigated. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that homes throughout Montana have the potential for elevated levels due to the geology and soil in the region.

Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non‐smokers and roughly 21,000 people die every year from radon caused lung cancer in the United States according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

DEQ recommends testing every two to five years, or after making structural changes to your home or occupying a previously unused lower level. Radon is measured in picocuries (pCi) per liter of air. If you find radon levels above the action level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), mitigation is recommended. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the radon level in the outside air is about 0.4 pCi/L, making it difficult to lower radon levels to zero. In Montana, 48 percent of the homes tested for radon have levels above the action level according to DEQ data.

When elevated radon levels are found in a home, they can be reduced. The typical cost for a radon mitigation system in an existing home is around $1,400, and around $400 during construction of a new home. A recent study by DEQ found that about half of newly constructed Montana homes were built with radon resistant features.

To learn more about radon in Montana or to order a free test kit, visit: https://deq.mt.gov/energy/Programs/radon

If mitigation is needed, DEQ offers a list of mitigation professionals who are certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program or the National Radon Safety board. For more information visit: https://gis.mtdeq.us/portal/apps/instant/minimalist/index.html?appid=bac7f5ae09e34fc08e3c7dd9de445598