City offers low-cost radon test kits

January is Radon Action Month, and the City of Minneapolis is offering low-cost radon test kits to residents. Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes primarily through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and more than 21,000 deaths are attributed to radon each year.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommends that all homes in Minnesota be tested for radon. State health officials recommend that homes be tested two to five years for radon gas. Testing your home is the only way to know if it has an elevated level of radon, which can cause lung cancer. MDH estimates that one in three existing Minnesota homes have radon levels that pose a large health risk over many years of exposure.

Radon exposure, however, is largely preventable. First, test your home to see if you have radon. Testing is easy, inexpensive, and only takes three to seven days. If the level of radon in your home is above 4 pico Curies per Liter (PiC/L), property owners should consider verification testing and mitigation to reduce or eliminate radon from indoor air.

Radon detection kits are available for purchase for $9 each at the City of Minneapolis Development Review, 250 S. Fourth St., Room 300. Minneapolis Development Review’s hours of operation are: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on testing, mitigation and the new radon-resistant new construction measures, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website or call the Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601 or 1-800-798-9050. Anyone interested in mitigating radon at his or her home should consult MDH’s list of certified radon mitigation contractors.

Published Jan 6, 2012