Testing a home for radon could mean a free Fitbit

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Radon occurs naturally in Minnesota soils, and enters homes through cracks or openings in walls or foundations.

Radon can cause lung cancer, and because January is National Radon Action Month, Jefferson County Public Health is handing out the kits. All they do is simply peel off the label, you set it about over 20 inches off the ground in your lowest livable level of your home.

Short-term radon detection kits are available for $10 at Teton County Environmental Health in the public health building at 460 E. Pearl Ave. If your results show a radon level meeting or exceeding the 4 pCi/l EPA action limit, the Kendall County Health Department may be able to provide some low-priced starting points for reducing if not eliminating your risk.

Decades of scientific research have shown a strong correlation between breathing harmful concentrations of radon gas - over long periods of time - with an increased risk of developing lung cancer. If you breathe into too much of the radioactive gas, you won't know immediately because it can take years of radon exposure before you become ill.

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"Testing your home for radon is simple and works best when all your doors and windows are closed". Knowing that there is a high probability of a risky agent lurking in your house, of all the initiatives you plan to undertake to promote improved health in your household, don't you think identifying Radon contamination in your home should be first on that list? There is no safe level for radon, but the EPA and U.S. Surgeon General recommend fixing homes that have levels at or above 4pCi/L (picocurie per liter). The data is from radon test results that have been monitored by the state. The test is simple, quick, and cheap.

The kits can be obtained online from the DPH's radon program website here.

"The home radon test kit is a quick and easy process, and homes with elevated radon levels can be fixed", he said in the release. The health department can also provide contact information for local licensed radon mitigation professionals who can help you mitigate your risk. Systems can be installed to reduce radon levels.