Radon is a health risk facing millions of Americans. Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon enters buildings through openings in the foundation floor or walls (sump openings, crawlspaces, floor/wall joints, cracks, etc.). Radon can become trapped in buildings, and thus, lead to elevated and harmful radon levels. Exposure to long-term, elevated radon levels can increase your risk of lung cancer. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and results in approximately 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
One in eight Michigan homes is likely to have an elevated radon level. According to a study conducted by the MDEQ, radon is present in elevated levels in about 20% of Livingston County homes. Radon is tasteless, odorless, and colorless, and it has no warning symptoms (it does not cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, etc.). Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon.
Testing homes for elevated levels of radon is simple. Radon test kits can be purchased from the Livingston County Health Department ($5.00 for short-term test, $10.00 for long-term test). Radon test kits are also available for purchase at local hardware stores, home improvement centers, some supermarkets or directly from a laboratory. Radon problems can be fixed by qualified contractors for a cost similar to that of many common home repairs, such as painting or having a new water heater installed (anywhere from $500 to about $2,500).
Please review the links/websites below for more information on radon or contact the Livingston County Health Department at (517) 546-9858, the National Radon Information Line at (800) 767-7236, or the Radon Fix-It Program at (800) 644-6999 to obtain information about how to reduce radon levels and/or obtain a listing of certified radon measurement or mitigation contractors.
Additional Resources for Radon