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Free radon test kits in January for National Radon Action Month

Free radon test kits are available at the Kent County Health Department. Photo courtesy of the Kent County Health Department.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Jan. 7, 2022) – The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is offering free radon test kits to County residents, while supplies last, as part of National Radon Action Month. You cannot see, smell, or taste radon but the radioactive gas can kill. Next to smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States claiming the lives of more than twenty thousand Americans every year, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.

The KCHD recommends that all homes be tested for radon every few years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month, a perfect time for you to protect your family by testing your home as this is the only way to know if radon is present.

“Testing for radon is an easy and important step in protecting the health of your family,” says Rusty Flewilling, Supervising Sanitarian with the Kent County Health Department. “The kit is easy to use. Simply hang a filter inside your house for a few days, then send it in a self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope for testing.”

Test results will be sent to residents and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. People can use the information when deciding on how best to pursue remediation, and the State gains a better understanding of the prevalence of radon in Michigan. For help understanding the test results, residents should contact the KCHD Environmental Health Division at (616) 632-6900.

Radon occurs naturally in the ground and seeps into buildings through cracks or openings in the foundation of floors and walls. It occurs in both new and old homes. The EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a map of risk zones for the United States which can be viewed by clicking here. Kent County is typically categorized as having a moderate to high levels of radon.

The KCHD podcast “A Matter of Public Health” recorded two episodes dedicated to educating people about the issue. In the first episode, residents will discover what radon is, how prevalent it is in Michigan, and how often testing should be done in homes. In episode two, we dig deeper to uncover how to get rid of the radon, how to select a contractor, and how to avoid getting ripped off by unscrupulous contractors. Guests include KCHD subject matter experts, Michigan’s top radon expert, the President of the National Radon Safety Board, and the Better Business Bureau of West Michigan. A Matter of Public Health, the podcasting service of the KCHD, is available wherever you get your podcasts.

Testing kits are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the KCHD’s main clinic location at 700 Fuller Avenue NE, Grand Rapids.

More information about Radon can be found at https://www.accesskent.com/Health/radon.htm.

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