Minnesota's foremost authority on radon will be in our KDHL Studio Friday to talk about the odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas that is found naturally in Minnesota soils.

Dan Tranter from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will be joined by Sara Coulter from Rice County Public Health Nursing.

I believe this will be the third year they have been able to join us in studio during January, which is National Radon Action Month.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Fortunately, the risk of lung cancer from radon exposure is largely preventable by testing homes and fixing radon problems. Winter is the best time to test your home for radon, and Rice County Public Health is encouraging people to stop by now and pick up a free test kit.

Traditionally we have given away test kits on the show but Sara assures me there are lots of free test kits available in their office in the Rice County Government Services Building in Faribault.

These free radon test kits are also available at the Rice County office location in Northfield, 801 Washington Street.

About 2 in 5 Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon gas (4pCi/L or above), and Rice County levels are even higher with 3 in 5 homes having test results at or above 4 pCi/L. The average level of radon in Rice County homes is about 5.9 pCi/L.  State health officials recommend that every home be tested.

The best time to test is during the heating season, but testing can be done year-round. 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 MDH’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 2-page publication to the buyer. Radon tests can be incorporated into a home inspection, however the law does not require testing or mitigation.

In Minnesota, homes built since 2009 are required to have passive radon resistant features. MDH encourages builders to include the addition of a radon fan. In addition, new home buyers can request the fan be added during construction. In new homes with radon fans, MDH has found very low radon concentrations.

For more information on radon testing and mitigation, visit www.health.state.mn.us/radon or call the Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601 or 1-800-798-9050.

At Tranter's request, he will also be educating us about mold and carbon monoxide.

 

Radon Test Kits are available Free at Rice County Public Health offices in Faribault and Northfield.