Shedding Light on Radon

HDNW is offering free education and radon test kits as part of Radon Action Month in January.

Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance and Health Department of Northwest Michigan (HDNW) are offering free education and radon test kits as part of Radon Action Month in January. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, responsible for thousands of deaths each year.

The annual initiative is called “Give a Can, Get a Kit.” By simply bringing in a nonperishable food item and/or toiletries, residents receive a free radon test kit at our Charlevoix, Harbor Springs/Petoskey, Bellaire, and Gaylord offices. By increasing awareness, HDNW aims to empower residents to safeguard their homes – and their families – from this silent threat.

“Since its start in 2020, our ‘Give a Can, Get a Kit’ initiative has been making strides. Last year, HDNW distributed 87 radon test kits to the community,” says Jeremy Fruk, Environmental Health Director. “While assisting residents in testing their homes for radon, we also donated the collected items to local food pantries, extending a hand to those in need.”

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell or taste radon gas and there are no short-term affects that can warn you of exposure.

This year’s educational awareness emphasizes the following:

  1. Test for Peace of Mind: HDNW urges residents to take the first step in radon prevention by conducting a simple test in their homes.
  2. Address Health and Safety: If the radon level measures high, HDNW supplies resources and guidance on how to reduce radon exposure and minimize the associated health risks.
  3. Create community-wide Impact: Radon awareness is not limited to individual households. HDNW calls on community leaders, schools, and businesses to join the fight against radon through site testing and sharing educational resources.

“Radon is a serious health concern but with awareness and action, we can significantly reduce the risks associated with this silent threat,” says Dan Thorell, HDNW Health Officer. “Testing and mitigation are simple yet powerful steps towards a safer, healthier community.”

To watch a video about the test kit and how to use it, go here. For more information about radon, visit

Radon kits can be picked up through Jan. 31 at all HDNW offices from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information about the kits, please call us locally at 800-432-4121.

Cutline: It’s better to know. Exchange a nonperishable food item for this radon test kit at HDNW offices through Wednesday, Jan.31.