MARQUETTE — January is Radon Action Month, and with February fast approaching, you may want to think about getting your home tested.

Radon gas is a leading cause of lung cancer, second only to smoking. For the residents of the U.P. this could be a serious problem.

“The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is considered a moderate exposure zone. Of the 150–ish radon tests we performed last year, about 20% showed elevated levels of radon,” said Kerry Noble, owner of Home Evaluation Services.

“When we had ours tested, we were borderline, so I’m going to have it redone. If it shows again then we have to go, like our neighbor did, put on a fan and an exhaust system out of the basement,” said Republic Township resident Dan Mongiat.

Towns with rocky, mineral rich soil like Republic, Negaunee, Ishpeming and Marquette are at a higher risk, and Noble says many of the homes he tests are in these areas.

Unfortunately, radon gas doesn’t have a color or smell, and exposure doesn’t have any immediate symptoms.

Radon occurs when uranium breaks down into radium, which breaks down into the culprit gas. The gas then seeps up from the bed rock and into the home through cracks in the slab.

But, even if you don’t live in a risky area, you should still consider getting your home tested.

“Radon can get into any home. It doesn’t matter if its a new home, if it’s an old home, whether it has a basement, a crawlspace or a slab. As far as testing goes, I recommend that everybody test their home. You don’t know the radon concentration in your home unless you’ve tested,” Noble added.

If there is radon in your home, all is not lost. There are mitigation techniques to ventilate the gas to the outside.

If you have any questions or want to test your home for radon, call Home Evaluation Services at (906) 361–9183.