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Free Radon Kits Available

CHARLEVOIX – The Health Department of Northwest Michigan will offer free radon test kits the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 2 to encourage testing in conjunction with National Radon Action Month.

Free test kits — which include the testing device, along with postage to send the device to a laboratory for laboratory analysis and report — are available at health department offices in Bellaire, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Gaylord. Those interested in receiving a kit will need to bring their tax identification number with them to obtain one from the health department. Kits are also available from some hardware stores and home improvement centers — but since these don't always include postage and analysis, the health department recommends reading the packaging carefully.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause among nonsmokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon results in more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. every year.

"Radon levels can vary significantly from home to home," said Scott Kendzierski, director of environmental health at the health department. "You can't smell it, taste it or see it. The only way to know if your family is at risk for radon exposure is to do the test."

If the test shows high levels of radon, the health department will provide consultation for further testing or resources to find a contractor to fix the home.

To learn more about radon testing and free radon test kits, continue reading here.