HASTINGS, Mich. — Barry and Eaton County residents can pick up free radon test kits throughout January, which is Radon Action Month, health officials announced Tuesday.
High levels of radon, which can’t be seen, smelled or tasted, may be in residents’ homes and can increase the risk of lung cancer.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and families are spending more time at home, making it more important than ever to check for high radon levels, according to health officials.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of radium.
Radium, in turn, is a natural decay product of uranium. Both radium and uranium are found in almost any kind of soil and rock, often in very small amounts.
Radon moves up through the soil and enters buildings through cracks and openings in the foundation, floor or walls, including at floor/wall joints, sump openings and other openings caused by plumbing, wiring or ductwork.
Outdoors, radon gets diluted to safe levels by the atmosphere.
But it can concentrate in indoor air and reach unhealthy levels.
In some Michigan counties, as many as 45% of homes have had radon levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended action level, according to a news release.
Test kits, which will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis, can be picked up at the following locations:
Hastings: Health Department, 330 W. Woodlawn Ave.; (269) 945-9516, select 3, then 5
Charlotte: Health Department, 1033 Healthcare Dr.; (517) 541-2615
Lansing: Delta Township Hall, Assessing Department, 7710 W. Saginaw Hwy.; (517) 323-8520
Delton: Delton District Library, 330 N. Grove St.; (269) 623-8040