Radon is a odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in soil.  Minnesota has one of the highest concentrations in the country and Southern Minnesota is above the state average.  Dan Tranter is the Supervisor of the Environmental Health Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).  Tranter stopped by KDHL for AM Minnesota today to educate us about radon because January is National Radon Action Month.

Tranter says just under 60 percent of homes tested for radon in Rice and Goodhue Counties had dangerous levels of the cancer causing gas.  Tranter is not only Minnesota's top authority on the topic but one of the best people in the nation to discuss radon issues.

The MDH Environmental Health Unit Supervisor told KDHL there is a new study out that confirms radon is the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the United States and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  More than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon each year in the U.S.

The Rice County Public Health Department has FREE test kits available.  Just stop by their office in the Government Services Building in Faribault and tell them you heard about the free kits on KDHL.  Goodhue County Health and Human Services has test kits available at 426 West Avenue in Red Wing for $10.

Minnesota homes built since 2009 are required by law to have a passive radon system. about 1 in 5 of these newer homes still have radon above the recommended action level.  The radon level can be reduced by adding a radon fan to the system.  Currently the fan is not required.

Be informed, check the conversation out here:

 

Dan Tranter Minnesota Department of Health Environmental Unit Supervisor. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld