Today’s tip - Test your home for radon

January is Radon Action Month and a great time for homeowners to resolve to test their homes for this odorless, colorless, tasteless gas. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year. Radon occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes primarily through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls. >

The Minnesota Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommend that homes be tested for radon gas because testing is the only way to know if it has an elevated level of radon. The Minnesota Department of Health 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.

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

Also see the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Radon information.

Published Jan 4, 2012