WEST MICHIGAN — January is National Radon Awareness Month, and local governments are encouraging residents to test their homes for the carcinogenic gas.
The Kalamazoo County Government says radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among those who don’t smoke, adding radon leads to 20,000 U.S. deaths each year.
We’re told radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that penetrates the foundations of residences after being released naturally from the earth.
“Kalamazoo County is considered a Zone 1 County,” says Environmental Health Supervisor Lucus Pols, “which means that average radon levels are expected to be above the EPA’s recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L.”
Government officials explain those who have been exposed to radon show no symptoms. They say test kits can be purchased for $10 at the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department all year long.
Long-term kits are available here.
Visit the Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services Department’s Environmental Health Division for more information.
The Ionia County Health Department encourages all homes to get tested for radon, adding they will be handing out free test kits through the end of the month in exchange for donated non-perishable food.
Ionia health officials say one-fifteenth of American homes contain high levels of radon, per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Ionia county residents are asked to call 616-527-5341 if they have questions.
The Kent County Health Department says they, too, are offering residents free test kits while supplies last.
“Testing for radon is an easy and important step in protecting the health of your family,” says Supervising Sanitarian Rusty Flewilling. “The kit is easy to use. Simply hang a filter inside your house for a few days, then send it in a self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope for testing.”