The Portage Library is gearing up to provide residents of the community with radon screeners to ensure they aren't being threatened by the silent killer.

The Government of Canada website describes radon as a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and rock breaks down.

"It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces like homes, it can accumulate to high levels. High radon levels can be a risk to the health of you and your family," says The Government of Canada.

Jen Kendall, Director at the library, says this initiative is very important as radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer and the number one cause in non-smokers.

"These in particular, are digital screeners that people can borrow from the Library. It's a two-week loan, and you put it in an area of your house, you let it sit for seven days, and it can give you the average on the amount of radon that's present in that area of your home."

There are no fees associated with this two-week loan and the Library says they currently have eight screeners ready to be taken out from November 1st until May 1st.

Kendall explains that with November being Radon Action Month, the hope is this will help make Portagers more aware of the threat radon presents.

"This is something I did in Alberta when I was a librarian there. We will be the first Library in Manitoba to offer this to our patrons. But on a personal note, my stepmother passed from lung cancer," continues Kendall. "So, it's just nice to be able to help in the prevention efforts as best as I can."

The director notes that this has been in the works for the last couple of months in partnership with the Canadian Lung Association and Central Plains Cancer Services.