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December 28, 2018
(Adrian, MI) It is estimated that one in every four Michigan homes and two in every four Lenawee County homes has radon levels that exceed the recommended federal action level. Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in almost any kind of soil or rock, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that exposure to radon results in more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. every year.
Radon comes from the radioactive decay (breakdown) of radium and uranium. Trace amounts of radium and uranium can be found in virtually any kind of soil or rock. As radon is not chemically reactive with most materials, it can move freely through soil and up into the atmosphere where it is safely diluted. However, when radon enters a building, it can become concentrated and reach unhealthy levels. Radon can enter a building through cracks and openings in the foundation, floor, or walls. Openings caused by sump pumps, plumbing, wiring, or ductwork can all become points of entry for radon.
As radon is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas, the only way to detect it is through testing. If testing reveals radon levels that meet or exceed the action level of 4.0 picocuries per liter, residents are strongly encouraged to take corrective action to reduce exposure to radon gas.
The health department is located at 1040 South Winter St., (Suite #2328 in the Human Services Building), Adrian, Michigan 49221. Radon test kits will be available during normal business hours of 8 am to 12 pm and 1-4:30 pm. For more information on radon, visit our website at lenaweehealthdepartment.org.