Crow Wing County urges residents to test homes for radon
Homes should be tested at least every five years
BRAINERD — Crow Wing County, the Minnesota Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urge everyone to test their home for radon, the invisible radioactive gas found at elevated levels in many Minnesota homes.
About two in five Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon gas and state health officials say every home should be tested. Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable, by testing homes and fixing radon problems.
To help residents get a more accurate picture of radon levels in Minnesota, MDH launched a series of maps showing information about radon in Minnesota. Key findings were:
- About 40% of Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon.
- The average radon level in Minnesota homes is about 4.2 pCi/L compared to 1.3 pCi/L nationwide.
- Only about 1%-2% of homes in Minnesota are tested annually, but every home in Minnesota should be tested at least every five years.
- Testing and mitigation is less frequent in communities with lower incomes and more renters.
Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils. It can enter into all kinds of homes through cracks or openings in walls or foundations.
The only way for residents to know if their home has radon is to test. The best time to test is during the heating season, but testing can be done year-round.
With more people working and schooling from home, it’s even more important to test homes.
Homes should be tested at least every five years. It is important to perform a radon test after buying a new heating system or adding central air conditioning.
Testing is easy, only takes two to five days, and is free through Crow Wing County Land Services Department to area residents. Radon test kits are available to be picked up in the Land Services Building at the customer service counter located at 322 Laurel St., Suite 15, Brainerd, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
There is a limit of one radon kit per household.