About 2 in 5 MN homes have dangerous levels of radon gas, but fortunately the risk is largely preventable. Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes 3-5 days. Winter is the best time to test your home and Anoka County would like to help.
Information provided by Anoka County:
Keep Your Home Healthy; January is National Radon Month
Radon occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and is an odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas. But it is also the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the United States and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. More than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon each year in the U.S.
Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable. Anoka County encourages homeowners to test homes and fix radon problems. About 2 in 5 Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon gas. The only way for residents to know if their home has radon is to test.
Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes 3-5 days. The best time to test is now during the heating season, but testing can be done year-round. Both long and short-term test kits are available at the Anoka County Administration Office and an order form can be found online at www.anokacounty.us/radon or by calling 763-323-5722 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Tests should be done in the lowest level of the home that is frequently occupied. If your home’s level is at or above 4 pCi/L*, you should consider verification testing and having a radon mitigation system installed. Anyone interested in mitigating his or her home for radon should consult the state’s list of certified radon mitigation contractors at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/radon/mitigation.html.
Minnesota law requires disclosure and information be provided to buyers about radon during Minnesota home sales. The law requires sellers to inform buyers whether their home has been tested for radon and if so, what the levels are and whether the home has been mitigated for radon. In addition, sellers must provide a warning statement and a two-page publication to the buyer. Radon tests can be incorporated into a home inspection. The law does not require radon testing or mitigation. Another law requires all new homes built since 2009 are built with passive radon resistant features. About 1 in 5 of these newer homes have radon above the recommended action level; this is an improvement over the levels found in the overall Minnesota housing stock where about 2 in 5 homes have elevated levels.
For more information and an order form for a radon test kit, visit www.anokacounty.us/radon or www.health.state.mn.us/radon or call 763-323-5722.
* pCi/L = picocuries per liter of air, the most popular method of reporting radon levels. A curie is an international measurement unit of radioactivity. A picocurie is one-trillionth of a curie.