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Detroit Local NewsDetroit Health Department gives free Radon test kits until the end of...

Detroit Health Department gives free Radon test kits until the end of February

Detroit, Michigan – Radon, a harmful radioactive gas, can sneak into homes unnoticed through small openings. This month, which is dedicated to raising awareness about Radon, the Detroit Health Department is giving away radon test kits for free until the end of February. The department’s top health expert, Denise Fair Razo, warns that you can’t see, smell, or taste Radon.

The CDC explains that Radon comes from natural sources like earth, rocks, and water. It’s present in both outdoor and indoor air, but it becomes a problem when it enters buildings. It can seep in through foundation cracks and build up, especially in basements and ground floors.

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Breathing in a lot of Radon over time can lead to lung cancer, warns the CDC. In fact, after smoking, radon is the second main cause of lung cancer deaths in the USA.

Around 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the country are linked to radon, as per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Detroit Health Department advises that testing your home is the only way to know if there’s too much radon. They suggest doing this test every two to five years.

If you live in Detroit, you can pick up a radon test kit on the third floor of the DHD building on Mack Ave. They’re available from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Using the test kit is easy.

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“Hang it in your basement or lowest level of your home for three to seven days,” said Paul Barry, DHD’s environmental health specialist. “Make sure you clearly mark the date you start and end. Remove the cardboard, seal the envelope, take it to the post office or UPS, and mail it in.”

City officials say you’ll get your results in three to five days. If the radon level is 4 or more, they recommend putting in a system to reduce radon in your home.

“Throughout the state of Michigan, we know that one in four homes have tested high for radon,” Razo said. “And we know in Detroit that’s relatively similar.”

Detroit has a low radon testing rate; DHD hopes that by making test kits available at no cost, it will increase awareness and testing.

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“We need to do our part to make sure that Detroiters know that radon could be in their home, and they have to protect themselves,” Razo added.