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Hate Crimes on the rise in the United States. Also on the Wednesday rundown: a big hearing in Denver on a proposed rollback of methane limits; plus find out about "Give to the Max Day."

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Elevated Levels of Radon in 40 Percent of MN Homes

PHOTO: Homeowners across Minnesota are being urged to take action this month by testing for radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Photo credit: Scott feldstein/Flickr.
PHOTO: Homeowners across Minnesota are being urged to take action this month by testing for radon, which is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Photo credit: Scott feldstein/Flickr.
January 19, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. – It really is a matter of out of sight, out of mind, but radon is a deadly danger in many homes across the state and the message on the importance of testing is clear.

Dan Tranter, supervisor of the Minnesota Department of Health, says the radioactive gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, but most people are unaware of the odorless and invisible threat.

"About 40 percent of our homes in Minnesota have elevated radon levels,” he cautions. “So it's a widespread problem across our state.

“We find problem homes for radon in every zip code, in every community. That's why it's very important to test their homes."

Radon test kits can be purchased at most hardware stores and are also available at low or no cost at many county health departments in the state.

January is National Radon Action Month.

If a home is found to have high levels, Tranter says the fix can be relatively simple with a radon mitigation system.

"Which is a pipe that starts underneath the home and is either routed up through your house or the side of the house,’ he explains. “There will be a fan placed in line. That fan runs continuously and draws air from underneath the house which redirects the radon to the exterior and prevents the radon from coming into your house."

Radon is a naturally occurring gas, which comes up from the ground from the decay of uranium.


John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN