To help promote safety in the home, the Edina Health Division is offering residents radon test kits for $5, while supplies last.
Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils. It moves through porous soil under and around homes. It can enter and build up in homes through unsealed areas such as cracks in the concrete slab. The accumulation can reach dangerous levels, which is why testing is important.
Residents should not rely on testing results from neighbors’ homes. Homes that are next door to each other can have very different radon levels. The only way to know if your home has high radon levels is to test it.
Testing is easy and only takes three to seven days. The best time to test is during the heating season, but testing can be done any time of year. Test kits can be obtained at the Edina Police Department office inside City Hall, 4801 W. 50th St., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
Radon is the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the United States and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) website, more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon each year in the United States. When breathed in, the radioactive particles from radon gas can damage the cells that line the lung, increasing a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.
“These radon test kits are easy to use and cheaper than if you were to buy them in a hardware store, where they typically cost $10 to $12,” said Lee Renneke, Edina Environmental Health Specialist. “Finding out the current radon level in your home is the first step toward figuring out what you need to do to keep your family safe and limit your exposure to radon.”
Renneke said tests should be done in the lowest level of the home that is frequently occupied.
If a home’s level is at or above 4 piC/L, owners should consider verification testing and having a radon mitigation system installed. People interested in installing a system should consult MDH’s list of certified radon mitigation contractors at bit.ly/380R31s. More information about radon in Minnesota can be found at bit.ly/2Lh35Kv.
For more information, contact Renneke at 952-826-0464 or LRenneke@EdinaMN.gov.