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Minnesota home buyers/sellers - radon test results to be disclosed

All real estate transactions in Minnesota must add one more disclosure to the list – a radon test and results must be performed. Under the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act, a new law pushed through the 2013 Legislature, disclosure of a test for the existence of radon and results must be available. But wait, there’s more. Sellers who do a radon test, and the test reveals the existence of radon, must also disclose possible remedies.

“Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home,” according to the Environmental Protection

Our View: Don't Wait for Legislature to Require Radon Testing

In 2007, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring all new homes to be built with radon mitigation systems. Rep. Kim Norton, then a first-term DFLer from Rochester, was the legislation's chief author, and since then, six other states, including Illinois, Michigan and Oregon, have followed Minnesota's lead.

There was good reason for Norton and Minnesota to take this step. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, killing 21,000 Americans each year. It seeps in through cracks in basement walls, floors and foundations, and Minnesota (especially Olmsted County) has some of the highest radon levels in the nation. About 40 percent of homes tested in Minnesota are found to have radon levels that are high enough to require a mitigation system that pipes the gas out of the house.

Obviously, the best time to install such a system is while a home is being built and definitely before the basement is finished.