What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive gas. It is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is the nation’s second leading cause of lung cancer. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends every home be tested for radon.
Myths and Facts (pdf)
Is radon dangerous?
The only known health effect associated with exposure to radon is an increased risk of developing lung cancer. Studies estimate that between 7,000 and 30,000 cases of lung cancer per year may be linked to indoor radon exposure.
How does radon enter a home?
Radon may enter a home anywhere there is an opening between the home and the soil. These openings include cracks in the foundation, floor drains, sumps, and many more. The levels of radon that can build up indoors vary according to the amount of radon in the source material and its rate of entry into the building.
How can I check my home for radon?
The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test. Testing is both easy and inexpensive. Radon test kits are available at many retail stores, and from public health organizations, including the American Lung Association and the Saint Paul - Ramsey County Department of Public Health | Radon Detector order form (pdf)
There are two types of tests offered by the Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health. Both tests are accurate and will give you the information you need to determine the level of radon in your home.
- Air Check, Inc. (short-term radon test)
This test uses activated carbon to which radon decay products attach. The charcoal is analyzed at the laboratory to determine a radon level. The short-term test will give the user a "snapshot" of the home's radon level.
- Alpha-track Detector (long-term test: 3 - 12 months)
It consists of a plastic film enclosed in a container with a filtered, covered opening through which radon particles enter and leave marks which can be counted under a microscope by a laboratory. The long-term test gives the user a seasonal average level of radon.
Radon Hotline (24-hour recorded message) | 651.266.1133
Environmental Health Section | 651.266.1199
Minnesota Department of Health | American Lung Association of Minnesota | Radon Resistant New Construction
Return to Home & Yard