Radon testing can be good for your health

According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), an estimated one in three homes harbor high levels of radon that pose a considerable health risk of lung cancer over many years of exposure. Testing for the radioactive gas can make a homeowner or home buyer aware to take measures that reduce exposure to this hidden threat.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) in the United States, with more than 21,000 deaths attributable to radon each year. Yet radon exposure is largely preventable (see MDH Radon webpage).

A bill introduced in the legislature – the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act – would require that buyers in residential real estate transactions receive an MDH publication on radon and a radon warning statement. If passed, this bill is expected to raise radon awareness.

Homes with high radon levels are fixable, but first they must be tested. MDH has highlighted radon testing during National Public Health Week, April 1 through 7.  Testing for radon during the sale of a home is an opportune time:

  • The seller can determine whether the radon level is an issue before a home inspection is performed.
  • The buyer can ask that a test be done during the home inspection period.

If high levels of radon are present, mitigating it can be handled during the home sale similar to other required home repairs.

In addition, the bill would require the seller to provide full disclosure of radon on the property. This would include whether testing has been done; any test results; whether radon mitigation has been done, and records and reports associated with any testing and mitigation.

For more information on radon testing and mitigation visit the MDH Radon Testing webpage or call the MDH Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601 or 1-800-798-9050.

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