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Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas that comes from deposits of uranium in soil, rock and water.
It is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air but, when trapped in buildings, can be harmful, especially at elevated levels.
Radon that’s trapped in buildings can be inhaled into the lungs, where it begins to undergo radioactive decay and damages the DNA. This damaged DNA can lead to lung cancer.
Radon gas enters the same way air and other soil gases enter a home: through cracks in the foundation floor or walls, hollow-brick walls, and openings around floor drains, pipes and sump pumps.
Any home can have a radon problem, regardless of whether it is old or new, drafty or insulated, with or without a basement.
Air Chek, Inc. - A manufacturer of short-term radon test kits. Minnesota residents receive a discount. Order online: Air Chek
RSSI - A manufacturer of long-term alpha-track radon kits. Order online: RSSI
Online laboratories and vendors - Search for ‘short term radon test kit’ or ‘long term radon test kit’
Since 2009, all new homes are required to be built radon-resistant. Home builders must use material and techniques to help prevent radon from entering the home. This includes sealing radon entry points and installing a vent pipe, but it does not include a fan.
Radon: What is it? Why should I care? What can I do about it? (YouTube)
Radon: What is it? Why should I care? What can I do? (PDF, 1MB)
Radon awareness event: Q&A (PDF, 1MB)
Minnesota Department of Health Radon in homes