Genesee County Health Department
Better Life Through Better Health
Test Your Home for Radon
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs
naturally in soil and rock. You cannot see, taste or smell radon, but it
can silently seep into homes and buildings. Radon enters buildings
through cracks and openings in foundations, including floor and wall
joints, sump openings, and crawl spaces. Outdoors the air dilutes radon,
but the gas can become concentrated indoors at unhealthy levels.
Next to smoking, exposure to radon is
the second leading cause of lung cancer. According to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is responsible for
approximately 14,000 to 20,000 deaths each year in the United States. A
statewide survey indicates that elevated levels of radon would be found
in one out of eight homes in Michigan. Up to 10 percent of the homes in
Genesee County may have elevated levels of radon, placing some area
residents at risk of developing lung cancer from prolonged exposure.
Yet, less than 1 percent of homes in Genesee County have been tested for
radon gas. The only way to find out if a home has elevated levels is to
conduct a test.
Testing is easy and inexpensive. Free
test kits are available from your local health department. Some hardware
stores, home centers, and other retail outlets also sell the
do-it-yourself test kits. Professional testing services are also
available. The Genesee County Health Department recommends testing your
home for Radon during winter months, as results are more accurate when
performed under closed-house conditions.
To learn more about radon, contact the
Genesee County Health Department at, (810) 257-3603, or by calling the
toll-free radon information line, 1-800-RADON GAS (1-800-723-6642).