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Michigan Indoor Radon Program Overview
The Michigan Indoor Radon Program is a non-regulatory program. Its purpose is to increase awareness of the health risks associated with exposure to elevated indoor radon levels, to encourage testing for radon, and to encourage citizens to take action to reduce their exposure once elevated radon levels are found. The program resides in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Materials Management Division, Radiological Protection Section.
The Michigan Indoor Radon Program was created in 1989 and is funded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) State and Tribal Indoor Radon Grants (SIRG) program. SIRG funding provides for a toll-free radon hotline (800-RADON GAS/800-723-6642) that residents can call for information on radon health risks, how to test, how to interpret results, how to reduce elevated radon levels, and radon resistant new construction techniques. All program literature is distributed free of charge. Program staff also assist residents to locate do-it-yourself radon test kits and to locate National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) and National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) certified radon measurement, and radon mitigation professionals.
Radon is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless naturally occurring radioactive gas that originates from the natural breakdown of uranium and radium in the soil. Radon gas breaks down into fine particles that are radioactive. When inhaled these radioactive particles can damage lung tissue. Prolonged exposure to radon and its breakdown particles over several years can lead to development of lung cancer. Because radon is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas, there are no physical signs that will alert you to the presence of radon in a home. There are no warning symptoms to let you know you're being exposed. Radon does not cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, skin rashes. The only way to know whether your home has a problem--or whether you are at risk--is to test!
Any home could have a radon problem whether it's old or new, energy-efficient, or drafty, built on a slab, or built over a basement or crawlspace. Elevated radon levels have been found in all 83 Michigan counties. One-In-Four Michigan homes has high levels of radon. The only way to know the radon levels in your home is to test!
While your neighbor's test results may give you an idea of the potential for a problem in your home, radon levels can vary significantly from lot to lot and home to home.
Do not rely on your neighbor's test results to determine your risk. Test your own home and be certain!
EGLE has created a map that shows the percentage of elevated test results by county. This map is based on over 200,000 homeowner test results. It shows that one in four homes have elevated radon levels across Michigan, suggesting that radon exposure is a continuing public health concern.
Radon problems in homes, schools, and large buildings can be fixed. For more information about radon testing and mitigation, including resources for homeowners, builders, realtors, renters, teachers and healthcare providers, go to Michigan.gov/Radon, or call EGLE's Indoor Radon hotline at 800-RADONGAS or 800-723-6642