DETROIT – Two counties of Detroit Metro are offering discounts on radon kits as part of the National Radon Action Month.

The Oakland County Health Division is offering the kits for half price at $5, whereas residents in the Macomb County can get them for free during January. The initiative is aiming to encourage the testing of homes for the gas, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths after smoking.

Photo: Wikipedia/Visuals Online.
Photo: Wikipedia/Visuals Online.

In Wayne, Oakland and Macomb radon levels are above the national indoor level of 1.3 picocuries, according to data published on the county websites. The measurement of the rate of radioactive decay of radon is not alarming, since it is far from the 4 picocuries per liter, which is considered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as elevated and increases the risk of lung cancer. Whilst radon is harmless outdoors, it can pose a threat to human health when it is confined to a house or a building.

According to the National Safety Cuncil, only one of every 15 homes has a randon level of 4 picocuries or greater. Given that radon is odorless, people cannot smell it and are not usually aware that it might be at high levels in their homes, said in a statement Tony Drautz, administrator of the Oakland County Health Division’s Environmental Health Services.

He pointed out that the cooler months mark the best time to test homes for radon, since it is the time of the year when windows and doors are more frequently closed. In case a home test reading is above 4 picocuries per liter, residents should contact a company specializing in removing radon, remarked John O’Brien, who is a Real State One associate broker in Novi.

When people breathe, radon gas turns into radioactive particles that can get stocked in their lungs, as explained by the National Safety Council. Those particles eject small bursts of energy that can potentially harm lung tissue and eventually cause lung cancer.

The EPA recommends testing all homes across the United States during the National Radon Action Month. The process is easy and can be done at a low cost. Radon is a radioactive gas that could potentially build up to dangerous levels in closed buildings when residents do not take prevention steps. Annually, it claims the lives of around 21,000 Americans.

Source: Detroit News