Indoor Air Quality

 

Radon

Public Health Home
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, that means it continuously decays and releases radiation. It is produced from minerals in soil, such as uranium and radium. It is colorless, odorless and tasteless.

Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer. In fact, over 20,000 lung deaths each year are from radon, making it a serious health concern for all Minnesotans.

Free Radon Tests are available at Kandiyoh County Public Health.  Pick up your free Radon Test at Kandiyohi County Public Health, 2200 23rd Street Northeast, Suite 1080, Willmar, MN  56201. (Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building)

WHAT IS RADON?
• Radon is a colorless odorless gas caused by the natural decay of uranium.
• Radon enters homes from the soil into your basement.
• The home creates a vacuum effect and pulls radon into the home from the soil.
• Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause 
 of lung cancer in smokers.
• 20,000 people die each year from lung cancer caused by radon exposure.

TESTING PROCEDURES
• Short term test kits are available to Kandiyohi County residents at no cost.
• There are no shipping costs.
• Put the test in the lowest lived in area of the home, such as the family room. Do not put it in the closet, bathroom, garage, etc. 
• Do not start testing during a severe storm.
• Doors and windows should be closed 12 hours prior to testing and during testing. Regular use of doors is OK.
• Do not disturb the test once started.
• Do not set within 3ft. of exterior doors and windows, and 12 inches of an exterior wall without windows. It must be at least 20 inches off the floor and 4 inches from other objects.
• After the test is completed it must be mailed in as soon as possible.
• Read all instructions included with the test completely.

TEST RESULTS
• Test results are measured in picoCuries per liter (pCi/L)
• 4pCi/L is the action level.
• If the results of the first test are between 4 pCi/L and 10 pCi/L do a long-term test next.
• If the results of the first test are over 10 pCi/L do another short-term test.
• If you have any questions feel free to contact Kandiyohi County Public Health at 320-231-7860.

FIXING YOUR HOME IF IT HAS ELEVATED LEVELS OF RADON
• A radon reduction (mitigation) system can be installed into your home.
• The average cost for a mitigation system is $1200, but it can range from $500 to $2400.
• A list of radon mitigation service providers can be found on Minnesota Department of Health’s webpage http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/radon/mitigation.html

 For more information regarding radon including:
• mitigation contractors,
• radon resistant new construction standards,
• testing,
• real estate
• and more, visit Minnesota Department of Health: Radon

Other Resources
Radon Levels for Minnesota - State Radon Officer
Radon in Minnesota Homes  - Minnesota Department of Health
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/radon/radonconbrochure.pdf