January puts focus on testing your home for radon, a cancer-causing gas

Date:  January 08, 2020  
Time: All Day Event

animation of radon gas from the dirt below a house into a system to release the gas into the air

With high radon levels in one of every four homes in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is joining with others to observe Radon Action Month in January.

Elevated radon levels can be dangerous because radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon and the only way to know if you have elevated, potentially deadly radon levels in your home is to conduct a test. 

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released from the earth’s crust and is the direct result of the natural decay of uranium and radium. Testing is recommended every two years because homes settle, new cracks form in the foundation, and radon levels can change. 

EGLE distributes thousands of discounted radon test kits annually through local health departments (LHD) throughout the state.   

If test results show indoor radon level is at or above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends installing a vapor mitigation system. It sounds complicated, but the system is just a series of pipes and a mitigation fan (or fans) that remove vapors from under your foundation, exhaust them above the roof where it’s safe, ensuring they never enter your home, as shown in the picture.

The typical cost for a mitigation system is between $800 and $1,500. So, protect yourself and your family by testing to verify your indoor radon levels are considered acceptable.

To learn more about radon levels, check out the county map of radon levels across Michigan.  Contact EGLE at 800-RADONGAS (800-723-6642) or radon@michigan.gov to find out where to get a test kit.


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