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January is National Radon Action Month. Half-priced radon test kits are available at Washtenaw County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division and the Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s Office through January 31, 2020.
Washtenaw County has been distributing radon home test kits for 25 years, with over 12,500 tests conducted in local residences. Over 40% of these tests have resulted in levels above the EPA’s recommendation.
“Every home in Washtenaw County should be tested for radon,” says Kristen Schweighoefer, MPH, RS, environmental health director. “Winter is the best time to test because homes are closed up tight and people are spending more time indoors. This gives us the worst-case scenario and the best indication of risk.”
Radon home test kits can be purchased for $5.00 at the following locations:
Please note, both locations will be closed Monday, January 20 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Radon is a tasteless, colorless and odorless radioactive gas. It is found in nearly all types of soil and rock. Due to the geology in this area, we tend to see high levels of radon in Washtenaw County homes. Radon can enter through cracks in the foundation, dirt floors, hollow-block walls, and openings around floor drains and sump pumps. Any home could have high levels of radon. Whether a home is new or old, with or without a basement – it could still have radon. The only way to know for sure is to test.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the United States. Research shows that radon is responsible for over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year, with 2,900 of those deaths occurring among people who have never smoked.
Although no level of radon is considered absolutely safe, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking action when levels are above 4.0 pCi/L inside a home. For comparison, the average indoor radon level in the United States is about 1.3 pCi/L, and the average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L.
Regardless of where you live in Washtenaw County, you should test your home for radon. If a home is found to have elevated levels, the radon can be reduced by installing a mitigation system. Depending on the home and contractor, a typical radon mitigation system costs approximately $1,000.
The radon test kits will remain available for purchase at the Western County Service Center and Ypsilanti Township offices after January 31 at the regular price of $10.00.
For more information, visit washtenaw.org/radon.