Testing for high radon levels in your Michigan home

Posted: 6:20 AM, Jan 07, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-07 09:03:38-05
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LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Around one in every eight homes in the state of Michigan has elevated levels of Radon. January is National Radon Action Month, a good time to stop at test your home.

According to home inspector Tyler Lenling, Vice President of TEK Environmental Consulting Service, January is a good time to test because there is little air going in and out of the home to disturb any radon testing.

“We see a lot of levels that are higher commonly in Livingston and Washtenaw County areas,” said Lenling.

According to the Livingston County Health Department, around 40% of homes in the area have tested positive for radon.

Radon is an orderless, natural gas that seeps up through the earths surface into homes. Radon is dangerous for anyone breathing it in, and is the second leading cause of cancer according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Anything greater than four picocuries, the unit of measurement for radon, is harmful according to the EPA.

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Radon is commonly found in basement areas. Especially coming through cracks in the foundation and through sump pump systems.

People can buy at-home, short-term testing kits at any type of hardware store. This kits can cost anywhere between $10 to $20 dollars. Lenling advices people contact a professional for long-term testing if the results come back over the recommended limit of radon.

If results do come back high, people may want to consider a mitigation system. A mitigation system is usually installed in the basement area, and helps fan the radon out of the home.

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“The gasses are drawn to the outside through a fan unit that runs 24/7, 365 days a year,” said Lenling regarding mitigation systems.

Both Macomb and Livingston Counties are handing out free, short-term testing systems.

Test kits for Livingston County residents are available at the Environmental Health Division Office, located at 2300 E Grand River in Howell. They will be free for residents till the en of January.

In Macomb County, residents can pick up their free kits to their two Health Department locations, Central Health Center on 43525 Elizabeth Road in Mount Clemens or Southwest Health Service Center on 27690 Van Dyke in Warren.

The EPA created an interactive map to help target problem areas around the US. Click here to view it.