Officials hope to raise awareness about radon dangers

Officials hope to raise awareness about radon dangers

HOUGHTON — Health Department officials are hoping to bring more awareness to the dangers of radon in the homes of U.P. residents. ABC 10’s Amanda L’Esperance brings us more.

January is radon awareness month. The Western UP Health Department wants the public to be aware of the harmful effects radon can have in the home.

Environmental Health Sanitarian Rachael Smith said, “Radon is a naturally occurring gas in the earth. It is in the ground. Typically it off-gasses into the atmosphere and it’s not a hazard. But when it leaks into people’s homes through basements and cracks in the foundation, it is concentrated. Too high of levels, if they get into our lungs, can cause cancer in the long term.”

To help the community assess their risk, the Health Department is providing free radon test kits to the public. The test envelope will hang in the lowest livable space in your home for 3-7 days. Then you’ll send the pre-addressed envelope in the mail and wait for results.

Smith said, “If you do test and you find that it’s an issue in your home, we have information on how to fix your home to take the level down to a safe risk.”

You can pick up a radon test kit at any Western UP Health Department office during normal business hours.