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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.
Order a discounted radon test kit through Hennepin County: Radon test kit order form (PDF)
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)
Radon awareness event: Q&A (PDF)
Radon test kit order form (PDF)
Minnesota Department of Health Radon in homes