Washtenaw County: More than 40% of homes have unsafe radon levels

January is Radon Action Month

How to protect your family from dangerous radon levels

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – Have you ever tested your home for radon levels?

The cancer-causing gas is invisible and has no smell or taste, so it can easily go unnoticed, and more than 40% of homes in Washtenaw County have radon levels that exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended level, according to the Washtenaw County Health Department.

Radon is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer among individuals who do not smoke and testing for it is simple and inexpensive.

Since January is Radon Action Month, the Health Department is offering test kits for only $5 through Jan. 31 at the following locations:

  • Washtenaw County Environmental Health Division, between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Environmental Health Division is located in the Western Washtenaw County Service Center at 705 N. Zeeb Rd. in Ann Arbor.
  • Ypsilanti Township Residential Services Department, between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed for lunch from noon–1 p.m. daily). The Residential Services Department is located in the Tilden R. Stumbo Civic Center at 7200 S. Huron River Drive in Ypsilanti.
  • Sharon Township Hall, between the hours of 9 a.m.-noon on Thursdays. The Township Hall is located at 18010 Pleasant Lake Road in Manchester.

After Jan. 31, kits can be picked up at all locations for the regular price of $10. Additionally, radon kits can be ordered online for $12.95 at www.mi.radon.com.

Here are some more radon facts from the Health Department’s website:

Why should I care about radon?

  • Radon is a radioactive gas that may be in your home. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it. Radon is naturally formed in soil and rock. It moves through the ground and enters your home through cracks, sump pump pits, crawl spaces and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps the radon inside, where it can build up to unsafe levels.
  • Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the United States. Radon is associated with over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. alone.
  • Any home could have a radon problem. New and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes and homes with or without basements could all have radon.
  • The only way to know your home’s radon level is to test. Over 40% of homes in Washtenaw County are estimated to be above the EPA’s 4.0 pCi/L radon action level. All homes in Washtenaw County should be tested for radon.