News Release

Health Department of Northwest Michigan
serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
Visit us at www.nwhealth.org


Rates of homes requiring response to radon released during National Radon Action Week

(October 15, 2007) Public health officials released results today of residential radon testing in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties, indicating many homes in the region are affected by the odorless, tasteless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after tobacco. For the period of September 1993 through August 2007, the proportion of homes tested and recommended for action ranged from nearly 4% in Antrim County to over 40% in Otsego County; health officials recommended action for 12.3% of Charlevoix County homes tested and 8.1% of Emmet County homes tested. When homes’ radon gas levels require action, Health Department land use sanitarians can help homeowners identify mitigation techniques.

“There are no warning signs for radon, and the only way to know if your family is being exposed is to test your homes,” said Scott Kendzierski, Director of Environmental Health Services for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. “When homeowners test for radon, they can identify problems early and take steps to reduce elevated levels. It’s quick, easy, and inexpensive to do.”

Radon test kits are available at a reduced fee of $5, only during the week of October 21-27, at Health Department offices in Bellaire, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs, and Gaylord. A property tax ID number is required at the time of purchase for tracking purposes. Cost includes postage to a special laboratory where results are analyzed and reported back to homeowners.

Homeowners should hang the radon tester in the lowest livable level of the home during the cooler months of the year.

Radon, a radioactive gas, comes from soil and enters homes through openings in the foundation floor or walls. If the test kit indicates an elevated radon level, additional testing should be done to confirm the problem and appropriate actions taken to reduce the levels when needed, such as sealing the foundation or installing exhaust fans.

When results are at or above the “action level”, Health Department staff can help homeowners identify mitigation techniques.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties. For additional information about radon, visit www.michigan.gov/deqradon or contact the land use sanitarian at your local Health Department office.


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