MDH urges Minnesotans to test homes for radon

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Minnesotans are spending more time in their homes. The Minnesota Department of Health says that makes it more important than ever for homeowners to test for radon, which can have serious health risks.

According to MDH, radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that naturally is found in soils across the state, but it comes with health risks.

More than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon each year in the U.S., making it the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

That’s why MDH is urging Minnesotans to check their homes for radon.

"Radon testing and mitigation increased from 2010-15, and it has held steady in the last five years," Dan Tranter, supervisor of the Indoor Air Program and MDH, said. "Unfortunately, many people are still being exposed to high levels of radioactive radon who don’t know it. With more people working and schooling from home, it’s especially important now to test your home."

Testing devices are simply placed in the lowest level of the home that is frequently occupied for two to five days. Homes found to have high radon levels typically can install a venting pipe and fan to pull the gas from under the home to the outside.

MDH said about 40% of Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon, and the average level of radon in Minnesota homes is more than three times higher than the national average.

You can find more information about radon risks or buying a low-cost radon testing kit online, or you can call MDH’s Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601.