Nicollet County Offering Radon Testing

Nicollet County Offering Radon Testing

Image: Radon points of entry - United States Environmental Protection Agency | US EPA

Prevent Lung Cancer by Testing your Home for Radon About 2 in 5 Minnesota homes have dangerous levels of radon; every  home should be tested 

In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, Brown-Nicollet Environmental Health will be offering 100 radon test kits at no charge on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning January 2, 2024 during “Radon Action Month.”  Short-term radon test kits will be available for pick-up at the Health and Human Services Office, on the first floor of the  Nicollet County Health and Human Services Building, 622 S. Front Street in St. Peter, Minnesota. Brown-Nicollet staff  suggests that you call the office at 507-934-8559 to ensure free kits are still available. 

Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soil. Due to Minnesota’s unique  geology and cold climate, radon gas is found at elevated levels in nearly 40 percent of all homes in the state. Nicollet  County’s, radon levels are higher than the state with 60 percent of all homes tested in the county reporting high radon  levels. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today; only smoking causes more lung  cancer deaths. Each year, more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon in the United States.  

Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable by testing homes and fixing radon problems. With more people working from  home, it’s more important than ever to test homes for radon; testing is the only way to know if a home has radon levels at  or above the level that presents a health risk. 

Tests should be done in the lowest level of the home that is frequently occupied. Test devices are usually placed in the  home for two to five days. The best time to test is during the heating season, but testing can be done year-round.  

Health professionals recommended testing for radon during real-estate transactions. Sellers must disclose any prior radon  testing and provide a two-page publication to buyers, under state law. MDH licenses home inspectors and other  professionals who test for radon. A list of licensed radon measurement professionals can be found on the Find a Radon  Measurement Professional page on the MDH website.  

In homes found to have high radon levels, radon reduction typically involves installing a venting pipe and fan to pull the  gas from under the home to the outside. This reduces the amount of radon in the home to low levels. Professionals  conducting radon mitigation must be licensed by MDH, follow standards, and affix a MDH tag to the system. A list of  licensed radon mitigation professionals can be found on the Find a Radon Measurement Professional page on the MDH  website. 

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