Your home is your family’s safe place. It’s where everyone can relax and spend time together. It’s important to keep your safe place, safe. One of the most dangerous things that can happen in a home is when natural gases, like radon, become exposed. January is Radon Action Month and Children’s Minnesota wants to keep you and your family safe from dangerous natural gases like radon.
What is radon?
You cannot see, smell or taste radon but if it’s present in your home, it can be very unsafe. Radon forms when natural elements found in rocks and soil break down and decay. When those elements decay, they turn into gas – and that gas is radon. Radon seeps through cracks and gaps from the soil beneath a home.
Is radon dangerous?
Breathing in radon can be harmful if your family is exposed to it. Radon is estimated to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for over 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Get your home tested
One way to prevent harmful levels of radon in your home is to test it for radon. The EPA recommends testing all homes below the third floor, but any home or apartment can be tested if you’re curious. You can use a Radon Test Kit to test your home; they’re safe and simple for any adult to use. These can be found online or in a home improvement store. Follow the instructions on the kit to successfully test your house for radon.
How to keep radon out of your home
The EPA offers different ways you can limit and reduce radon exposure in your house to keep your children safe:
- Seal cracks and gaps in your home’s foundation.
- Buy and use a radon mitigation system. These systems can reduce radon levels by 99%.
- Make sure to hire a professional. The EPA recommends you hire a qualified radon mitigation contractor because reducing radon levels requires specific knowledge and skills.
- Know that these systems can generally cost $800-$2500. They run on electricity so you’ll likely see an increase in your utility bills. Talk to your contractor about the general range of increase you can expect.
- The Minnesota Department of Health has some financial assistance options for radon.
If you’re concerned that you or your family has been exposed to radon, it’s important to take the steps to protect your family and reduce the levels immediately.
Children’s Primary Care
At Children’s Minnesota, healthy kids are our mission. If you’re worried about radon exposure, talk to your pediatrician today.
Our pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners treat babies, toddlers, children, teens and young adults. And it’s our mission for every child in our care to grow up happy, healthy and fit. Children’s Minnesota has 12 pediatric primary care clinics around the metro area so that your family can get comprehensive care close to home.