January is National Radon Action Month. Half-priced radon test kits are available at Washtenaw County Public Health’s Environmental Health Division and the Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s Office through January 30, 2015.
Brenda Stumbo, Ypsilanti Township Supervisor, says, “We are happy to offer radon kits at our Ypsilanti Township Civic Center. Selling them at more than one location makes it more accessible to residents on this side of town.”
Radon home test kits can be purchased for $5.00 at the following locations:
Western County Service Center between the hours of 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Please note the office will be closed on Monday, Jan 19. The Service Center is located at 705 N. Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103. To purchase a test kit by mail for an additional $2.00, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (734) 222-3869.
Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s Office between the hours of 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday (closed for lunch 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm daily). Please note the office will be closed on Monday, Jan 19. The Ypsilanti Township Supervisor’s Office is located in the Civic Center at 7200 S. Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. Call Carly Willis at (734) 544-3512 with questions.
“Our goal is for every home in Washtenaw County to be tested for radon, and to be fixed if high levels are found,” says Kristen Schweighoefer, MPH, RS, environmental health director. “Winter is the best time to test because homes are closed up tight and people are spending more time indoors. This gives us the worst-case scenario and the best indication of risk.”
Radon is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless radioactive gas. It is found in nearly all types of soil and rock. Radon can enter homes through cracks in the foundation, dirt floors, hollow-block walls, and openings around floor drains and sump pumps. Current estimates show that as many as 45% of homes in Washtenaw County have elevated levels of radon. Any home could have high levels of radon. Whether a home is new or old, with or without a basement – it could still have radon. The only way to know for sure is to test.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the United States. Research shows that radon is associated with 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in this country.
Although no level of radon is considered absolutely safe, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking action when levels are above 4.0 pCi/L inside a home. For comparison, the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L, and the average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L in the United States.
If a home is found to have elevated levels of radon, the radon can be reduced by installing a mitigation system. Depending on the home and contractor, a typical radon mitigation system costs $800 - $1000 in Washtenaw County.
The radon test kits will remain available for purchase at the Western County Service Center and Ypsilanti Township offices after Jan 30 at the regular price of $10.00.
For more information, contact the Environmental Health Division at (734) 222-3869 or visit www.ewashtenaw.org/radon.