Radon is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas created from the breakdown of natural deposits of uranium in the ground. Radon gas can be drawn into a building and build up to levels that can cause a health concern. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon exposure results in more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. every year. Finding high levels of radon in a home has nothing to do with the age, quality, or upkeep of the home.
It is estimated that about 25% of Michigan homes have radon levels higher than the federal action level of 4.0 picoCurie per liter (pCi/L). In Lenawee County, 50% of the homes that have been tested by Air Chek were found with radon levels above 4.0 pCi/L, with the average result being 6.4 pCi/L.
Home testing is the only way to know if a home has high radon levels. Testing is easy to do. There are many testing companies and home inspectors who offer radon measurement services. Look for EPA listed individuals. Test kits can be found at local hardware stores, home improvement centers, and other retail stores. Test kits can also be purchased directly from the manufacturer at www.mi.radon.com.
Radon Test Kits
Short term radon test kits are free from the Lenawee County Health Department during the month of January. During the rest of the year, short term test kits can be purchased from the health department for $10.00 each. The health department currently does not have any long term test kits available.
Finding a home with a radon mitigation system already installed is a plus. If your home does not have a mitigation system, having one put in is affordable, lowers radon levels, and can enhance future resale value. More information on radon mitigation can be found here.