I've had a few different jobs since I've moved to Minnesota.  One of those careers opened my eyes to a hidden danger that is hiding in roughly 40% of Minnesota homes today.  In fact, this odorless gas is the cause of death for about 21,000 people each year in the United States.

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Two in Five Homes in Minnesota Have Dangerous Levels of Radon

Fun Fact: When you have a real estate license in Minnesota, to keep it up you need to take classes and go to training for topics related to housing.  Back in the day when I was selling real estate in Minnesota, I got an inside look at some shocking statistics about a dangerous gas lurking in some of our homes:

  • Radon is a colorless, odorless gas called radon that is in 40% of homes in Minnesota.
  • According to the Minnesota Department of Health, radon levels in Minnesota are more than 3x higher than the levels throughout the United States.  3x!
  • If you are exposed to radon for a long time, it can damage the lungs and lead to lung cancer.
  • Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.
  • There are easy ways to test and reduce radon levels in your home.
The danger of radon gas in our homes - concept image with check-up chart about radon level testing
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There are a lot of myths out there about radon and people commenting "fake news" about the statements above.  To ensure that you are informed and have accurate information about radon, check out the facts below from the CDC that talk about this harmful gas lurking in the soil and in some homes in Minnesota.

Everything You Need to Know About Radon

You can't see it, taste it, or smell it but radon is a dangerous gas that is lurking in some areas of the United States. It is estimated that radon is the cause of 21,000 deaths related to lung cancer each year.

January is Radon Awareness Month and the CDC has shared the following helpful facts about radon and information on how you can help protect your family from this deadly gas.

Gallery Credit: Jessica On The Radio

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How To Find Out If Your Minnesota Home Has Radon

Before I moved into our last house, we had a radon test done.  It was part of the inspection process and although it does take a few days, I am so glad that it was part of our offer on the home.  Our radon levels were higher than the recommendation and I was not going to move into this house until a mitigation system was installed.  The reason was simple - my family has seen too many forms of cancer already.  My mom had breast cancer, my sister was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 10, and my dad had colon cancer, skin cancer, and others that have thrown some red flags my way.  My risk of cancer is already there.  I don't need to add to the flame.

Testing is easy and according to the Minnesota Department of Health, should be done every 2 to 5 years.  If you make changes to your home, like a remodeling project with new windows, adding a new room, etc., it is important to also have a radon test after those enhancements to your home are finished.  You can learn more about how to find radon tests here.

Crawl space fully encapsulated with thermoregulatory blankets
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If your radon levels are higher than 4.0 pCi/L, it is recommended that a radon mitigation system be installed in your home.  Newer homes that are built in Minnesota may already have this in place but older homes would need to have this installed by a professional.  You can find a list of radon mitigation professionals here.

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Gallery Credit: Lauren Wells

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