(Grand Rapids, MI) – Radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, so what can you do to protect your home? Get it tested. Test kits are inexpensive and can be purchased from local hardware stores or from the Environmental Health Division of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD). The Health Department is located at 700 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids.
“Protecting indoor air is a vital part of maintaining a healthy home,” said Cathy Raevsky, Administrative Health Officer for KCHD. “With 16 percent of homes tested in Kent County having an elevated radon level, it is important for homeowners to take action. Getting tested is a simple way to protect your family.”
Radon is created by the breakdown of uranium in soil. It finds its way into homes and other buildings through passages like cracks in the foundation, and is second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer. It is estimated that one in eight Michigan homes has an elevated level of radon. January is National
Radon Action Month and is an ideal time to test your home, because chilly weather means windows are closed, air is stagnant, and if radon is present, it will be more concentrated.
The test kits are easy to use and include confirmatory testing and referrals to approved radon contractors if necessary. The kits cost $5. To date, KCHD has received nearly 8,000 test results from homes across the county. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/radon.