Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared January 2020 to be Radon Action Month in Michigan, and she is encouraging all state residents to learn more about this environmental hazard and test their homes during the heating season.
You cannot see, smell or taste radon, and there are no short-term side effects. However, long-term exposure to radon increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Testing is easy, inexpensive and the only way to know if a home has a radon problem.
Lung cancer accounts for more deaths in both men and women than any other form of cancer in the United States. The Department of Health and Human Services predicted that in 2019 there would be an estimated 8,070 new cases of lung cancer and 5,410 deaths from the disease in Michigan. Behind smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and considered a leading environmental cause of cancer mortality in the United States.
One in every four Michigan homes is expected to have radon levels exceeding the federal action level of 4 pCi/L. While radon poses a serious threat to community health, high radon concentrations are easily fixed.
For help getting a radon test kit, or for more information regarding radon testing, mitigation and levels across Michigan, go to Michigan.gov/Radon, call 800-RADON GAS (800-723-6642), or email Radon@Michigan.gov. Test kits also are available at local hardware stores.
—Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy