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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
  • Public Health offering radon test kits to area homeowners

  • Brown County Public Health will offer free radon test kits on a first-come, first- serve basis to homeowners in the Brown County area beginning Jan. 8 during “Radon Action Month.”
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  • Brown County Public Health will offer free radon test kits on a first-come, first- serve basis to homeowners in the Brown County area beginning Jan. 8 during “Radon Action Month.”
     
    The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that all homes in Minnesota be tested for radon. It’s the only way to know if your home has an elevated level of radon, which can cause lung cancer. Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes primarily through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls.
     
    The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that one in three existing Minnesota homes have radon levels that pose a large health risk over many years of exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and more than 21,000 deaths are attributed to radon each year.
     
    Radon exposure, however, is largely preventable. First, test your home to see if you have elevated radon levels. Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes 3-5 days. If your home has dangerous levels, you can have a system installed to reduce radon from your indoor air. In homes with levels over 4 pCi/L, homeowners should consider verification testing and possible mitigation. The final step is to encourage friends, family, and coworkers to test their own homes for radon.
     
    Effective Jan. 1 new legislation, the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act, requires specific disclosure and education be provided to potential home buyers during residential real estate transactions in Minnesota. In addition, before signing a purchase agreement to sell or transfer residential real property, the seller shall disclose in writing to the buyer any knowledge the seller has of radon concentrations in the dwelling.
    In Minnesota, buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction are free to negotiate radon testing and reduction. Ultimately, it is up to the buyer to decide an acceptable level of radon risk in the home. Prospective buyers should keep in mind that it is inexpensive and easy to measure radon, and radon levels can be lowered at a reasonable cost. The Minnesota Radon Awareness Act does not require radon testing or mitigation.
     
    The Minnesota Department of Health Radon Program website provides more detailed information on radon, including the Minnesota Department of Health brochure “Keeping Your Home Safe from Radon.”
     
    You can obtain a free short term test kit in Brown County starting Wednesday, Jan. 8 until they are gone at Brown County Public Health Office at 1117 Center Street, New Ulm of the Sleepy Eye City Office at 200 Main Street E and at the Springfield City Office at 2 E Central Street.
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    Long term radon test kits are only available at the Public Health Office in New Ulm.
     
    Test kits are available at the Public Health office at a reduced rate even after the limited number of free kits is gone. Call 507-233-6820 for more information.
     

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