Press release provided by Isanti County Public Health
January is radon action month. The Minnesota Department of Health and US Environmental Protection Agency urge everyone to test their home for radon, the invisible radioactive gas found at dangerous levels in over 40% of Minnesota homes.
Radon is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils. The only way for residents to know if their home has radon is to test. More than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon each year in the United States. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable through testing homes and fixing radon problems. Only about 1-2% of homes in Minnesota are tested annually, when it’s recommend that at least 20% are tested annually.
Tests should be done in the lowest level of the home that is frequently occupied. The best time to test is during the heating season, but testing can be done year-round. With more people working and schooling from home, it’s even more important to test homes.
Isanti County Public Health has test kits available at no cost. To obtain a test kit, visit the Isanti County Government Center (555 18th Ave SW, Cambridge) or call 763-689-4071. Other participating agencies and vendors can be found at MDH’s Radon esting website. Hardware stores may also stock test kits. Licensed professionals can also conduct testing.
In homes found to have high radon levels, radon reduction typically involves installing a venting pipe and fan to pull the gas from under the home to the outside. This reduces the amount of radon in the home to low levels. A list of currently licensed radon mitigation professionals can be found on the Find a Radon Mitigation Professional page on the MDH website.
To learn more about the radon maps, radon testing, radon mitigation, and licensure in Minnesota:
• MN Public Health Radon Data Maps (https://data.web.health.state.mn.us/radon).
• Purchase a low-cost radon test kit (http://mn.radon.com).
• Radon in Homes (http://www.health.state.mn.us/radon).