1 in 8 Michigan homes likely to have an elevated radon level; counties offer free test kits

Posted at 6:23 AM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 13:11:31-05

(WXYZ) — One in eight homes in Michigan are likely to have elevated levels of radon, according to the Livingston County Health Department.

A study by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality found that radon – a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas – is present in about 40 percent of Livingston County homes.

The gas has no warning symptoms such as headaches, nausea or fatigue. It is also the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in America and claims lives of nearly 21,000 Americans each year, according to the Macomb County Health Department.

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 lead to elevated and harmful radon levels.

The only way to know if you and your family are at risk of health issues caused by radon is to test for it.

That's why counties including Livingston and Macomb are offering free short-term radon test kits this month.

For Livingston County residents, test kits are available at the Environmental Health Division Office at 2300 E Grand River in Howell from Jan. 2 to Jan 31.

Macomb County residents can get free kits at two Health Department locations:

  • Central Health Center on 43525 Elizabeth Road in Mount Clemens.
  • Southwest Health Service Center on 27690 Van Dyke in Warren.

January is Radon Action Month. Residents are encouraged to include radon testing among their resolutions for a healthy new year.