The United States Air Force says it will begin testing for radon gas at 136 bases in the world in December. The gas, which can be trapped in buildings, is a product of decaying natural uranium in the soil. Research has linked exposure to high radon levels to lung cancer.
Three months of initial testing at Air Force facilities will include family housing, child care centers, and temporary dormitories on bases.
Buildings with radon levels above Environmental Protection Agency guidelines will be corrected to bring levels down to standard.
Steps to reduce radon leaking from the ground into buildings can include sealing radon entry points and installing ventilation beneath the buildings to siphon the gas away from structures.
Defense Department spokesman Glenn Flood said the Army and Navy had no immediate plans for such testing, but would decide later based on the Air Force study.