Radon Dangers; Where to Pick Up Testing Kits
Posted at: 01/15/2013 6:06 PM
| Updated at: 01/16/2013 4:44 PM
By: Alan Hoglund
As declared by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, January is "Radon Action Month," and Duluth organizations and businesses are partnering to help protect homeowners. They want you to test for radon.
According to 1Roof Community Housing Deputy Director Cliff Knettel, "radon is a very dangerous chemical when you're exposed to it for a long period of time. It's the second highest leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking so it can be very dangerous."
The Minnesota Department of Health says radon:
- doesn't have a taste or odor, and you can't see it
- causes an estimated 800-1,000 deaths in Minnesota annually
- is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers
Minnesota has especially high indoor radon levels, according to the Department of Health, but it can be found in all homes. It comes from the radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil and rock.
You can test for it using a simple kit made up of an envelope and a piece of foam. According to Knettel, you test for it by hanging the envelope in your home for three days, propped open by the piece of foam. After 72 hours, take the foam out, seal the envelope and drop it in the mail. He said the results should be returned in about two weeks.
You can pick up a free radon testing kit at one of six organizations and businesses in Duluth. They are:
- 1Roof Community Housing in Duluth's Central Hillside
- Ecolibrium in Lincoln Park
- American Red Cross near the Miller Hill Mall
- Marshall Hardware in Lakeside
- Caring Ways Cancer Resource Center in the Essentia Health on First Street
- American Lung Association downtown
If you have radon in your home, the Department of Health says it is dealt with by inserting pipes through the basement floor and up through the roof. A fan on the pipes sucks the radon from below the home and vents it above the roof.
The Department of Health says Minnesota residents may qualify for some financial assistance.