Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of death in smokers (after tobacco). The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the US are linked to radon each year, and the Minnesota Department of Health estimates that 2 of 5 Minnesota houses have unsafe levels of radon. Because of this very preventable health risk, Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed January as Radon Action Month in Minnesota.
Why does Minnesota have such high levels of radon?
- It partly has to do with our geology. Radon is produced from the natural decay of uranium found in the soil. Uranium breaks down to radium, and radium disintegrates into a radioactive gas... radon, which is both colorless and odorless so impossible to detect on your own. Nearly 80% of Minnesota counties are rated high radon zones.
Sellers in Minnesota are required to disclose any information they may have regarding radon in their home... and many buyers include a radon test as part of their home inspection. Buyers often ask sellers to install a mitigation system if levels are at or above the EPA recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L.
Learn more in this 15-page brochure from the Minnesota Department of Health, including info on both testing and mitigation... Keeping Your Home Safe from Radon... and in this video... Radon: The Invisible Killer.