1/8/2013 8:54:00 AM CJCHS offers free radon testing kits to area residents
Every hour, one person in the U.S. dies from radon-related lung cancer. It is the largest environmental cancer risk and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable.
Cottonwood-Jackson Community Health and the Minnesota Department of Health recommend that all homes in Minnesota be tested for radon. It's the only way to know if your home has an elevated level of radon, which can cause lung cancer.
Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls.
To obtain a test kit, contact Cottonwood-Jackson Community Health, toll-free, in Windom (800) 247-1401 or in Jackson at (800) 622-5207 or stop by their offices in Windom at 235 9th St., or in Jackson in the Government Center East.
Kits will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and a limited number of free kits are available.
MDH estimates that one in three existing Minnesota homes have radon levels that pose a large health risk over many years of exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and more than 21,000 deaths are attributed to radon each year.
Radon exposure, however, is largely preventable. First, test your home to see if you have elevated radon levels. Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes 3-5 days. In homes with levels over 4.0 pCi/L, homeowners should consider verification testing and possibly installing a mitigation system, which will remove radon from your home.
The final step is to encourage friends, family and coworkers to test their own homes for radon.
For more information on radon testing and mitigation visit the sites below, or call the Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit at (651) 201-4601 or (800) 798-9050.
Anyone interested in mitigating their home for radon should consult MDH's list of certified radon mitigation contractors at the website listed below.