Residents Should Pick up a Free Radon Test Kit during Radon Action Month

Radon can't be seen, smelled, or tasted, but high levels of radon gas may be in residents’ homes, increasing their risk of lung cancer. Fortunately, testing is easy, and high radon levels can be lowered.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of radium. Radium, in turn, is a natural decay product of uranium. Both radium and uranium are found in almost any kind of soil and rock, often in very small amounts. Radon moves up through the soil and enters buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation, floor, or walls, including at floor/wall joints, sump openings, and other openings caused by plumbing, wiring, or ductwork.

Outdoors, radon is diluted by the atmosphere to safe levels. Indoors, it tends to be more concentrated. These higher levels can be unhealthy, because radon can cause lung cancer—it is the second leading cause of lung cancer (smoking is the first), but it is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. It is very important for residents to know their home’s radon level and to take action to lower it if it’s too high.

According to a Michigan survey, high levels of radon are expected in one out of eight homes in Michigan. In some counties, as many as 45 percent of the homes have had radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommended action level (4 pCi/L). The only way to know if a home has high radon levels is to test it.

Easy, do-it-yourself radon test kits are available for free to residents of Barry and Eaton counties during January, which is Radon Action Month. There is a limit of one kit per address. Kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and supplies are limited. Residents can pick up a kit at one of the below locations. After using it at home, they should send it to the lab for testing!

Hastings: Health Department, 330 W. Woodlawn Ave (269) 945-9516, select 3, then 5

Charlotte: Health Department, 1033 Healthcare Dr (517) 541-2615

Lansing: Delta Township Hall, Assessing Department, 7710 W. Saginaw Hwy (517) 323-8520

For more information about radon, residents can visit or call or visit the Barry-Eaton District Health Department in Hastings at 330 W. Woodlawn Ave. ([269] 945-9516, x 35) or in Charlotte at 1033 Health Care Dr. ([517] 541-2615).

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on January 2nd 2017.