ST. PAUL (AP) - Governor Mark Dayton has declared this "Radon Action Month" in Minnesota, and the state is encouraging residents to get their homes tested.
(Click on the audio mp3 above to hear an interview with Andrew Gilbert, Radon Outreach Program Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Health.)
More than 40 percent of Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon, an odorless, colorless but radioactive gas. The Minnesota Department of Health says one person in the U.S. dies from radon-related lung cancer every 25 minutes. It's the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, but health officials say the risk is largely preventable.
Over 40 local public health agencies around the state have partnered with the Health Department to make over 8,000 radon test kits available to residents at low or no cost.
Over 1,000 Minnesota homeowners every year install radon reduction systems, but that's a small percentage of the homes that should have them.
More information about low cost radon test kits can be found online at www.radon.mn.com, or by calling the Minnesota Department of Health at 1-800-798-9050.