Now is the time to test your home for radon gas

Georgia Reed
January 13, 2018

Though radon can get into any type of building, including homes, offices, and schools, you and your family are likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the number-one cause among non-smokers, responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates. Minnesota has high radon levels due to its unique geology and cold climate. Over time, living in a home with an elevated level of radon increases the residents' risk of developing lung cancer. If your results show a radon level meeting or exceeding the 4 pCi/l EPA action limit, the Kendall County Health Department may be able to provide some low-priced starting points for reducing if not eliminating your risk. "Since you can't see or smell radon, people tend to forget the health effects that radon can have", says Meghan Williams, Environmental Health Specialist for Lincoln County Health Department.

Homes with radon levels of four (4) picocuries per Liter (4 pCi/L) or higher should be fixed.

Radon results from the decay of uranium found in almost all soils. The aggregated information from the test results will be used to update statewide Radon Potential Maps, which show the likelihood of radon in a specific region.

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It is recommended that homeowners retest for radon every 2-5 years or if there have been any structural changes such as an addition or finishing a basement. "You can not see or smell radon". Options for remediation of radon in the home are available at the CDPH Indoor Radon Program. Logan County has an average radon level of 4.4 pCi/L. Short-term test kits run cost from $7.30 to $12.

For more information on radon testing, visit www.coloradoradon.info, where you can find a list of contractors certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program to install radon mitigation systems. Confidential results are available online a few days later, or they can be mailed to the homeowner within approximately two weeks. "It's important to note that while there will always be a positive reading for radon in every home, it may not be at what is called an action level".

Story courtesy Greene County Public Health.

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