Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and claims the lives of approximately 21,000 Americans every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is an odorless and colorless gas and can be found anywhere. January is National Radon Action Month, so MLHS would like to share some ways to ensure your home is safe from radon gas.
Radon comes from the ground. It is a gas that is created from the natural breakdown of uranium. The MN Department of Health warns that Minnesota has radon levels three times the national average. This is due to our geology as well as the homes being closed up so much of the year. Forty percent of Minnesota homes pose a significant risk to high levels of radon.
There are no safe levels of radon, but there are things you can do to lower your exposure. First thing, you need to find out what the levels are in your home. Simple radon test kits can be purchased at many hardware or home improvement stores as well as ordered online and are fairly inexpensive. Test sampling in your home varies from a couple of days to a couple of months depending on the test you purchase. Your sample is then mailed off to a lab and results follow a few weeks later.
If test results come back showing dangerous levels of radon, there are several methods offered by professional services that can lower your exposure. The most common method is a vent pipe system which pulls the radon gas from beneath the house and vents it outside.
It is reported that radon levels can vary greatly even between neighboring homes, so it is important to get your individual home tested. Something else to consider is if you are thinking about selling your home, getting the radon test done in advance can prevent a delay in the sale later. Have the results ready if a potential buyer might request information regarding radon levels.