Now that it's January, it's also national Radon awareness month.
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that comes from the earth.
Nearly eighty percent of the counties in Minnesota are rated high radon zones due to the climate and geology.
Employees at Complete Basement explain why Minnesota has such high levels.
Nick Barke, productions manager at Complete Basement systems says, "Southern Minnesota has such high levels of radon in homes, especially in the winter time when we seal up our homes and heat our homes because radon is a gas that comes from the ground. Therefore, capturing it in our homes and elevating it to dangerous levels in the winter time."
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, radon causes over 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S.
Barke says, "Everyone should get their home tested, it's a very simple fix and is really inexpensive and quite unobtrusive to someone's home so it's not a large constructive process and mitigation that people think it would be."
The only way to know if your house has a dangerous level of radon is by testing. There are two types of kits, a short–term and a long–term. This is a short term radon testing kit.
First you fill out the front of the card, then you insert the black square, like this. And hang upside down on an inside wall for 3 to 7 days. After 3 days or so throw away the black square, seal the envelope and put it in a mailbox. Instructions are included with the kits.
Brown–Nicollet Environmental Health in St. Peter will offer free radon test kits on a first–come, first– serve basis to homeowners in the Brown and Nicollet County area throughout January.