Is Radon in Your Home Affecting Your Health?

There is a serious danger affecting one out of every eight homes in Michigan: radon gas. Radon, which is created naturally when uranium in soil breaks down, can enter your home through cracks in solid floors and walls, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors and other easily fixable home issues. If it builds up inside your home, it can be lethal. In fact, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, causing 21,000 deaths a year.

Since radon is invisible, has no smell and causes no warning signs like headaches or skin rashes, the only way to tell if your home’s levels are too high is by testing your indoor air.

How do the tests work?

There are two types of radon tests: passive and active. Passive devices don’t require electrical power and use things like charcoal or plastic film to trap radon particles. These particles are then examined in a laboratory to determine if radon is present and at what level. Many radon testing professionals will use what’s called an active device, which is plugged in and it continually monitors the level of radon in your home.

Where can you get a test?

Home radon testing kits are available at Lowe’s, Home Depot and other home improvement stores and cost around $10. Follow the directions and mail it to a lab for analysis (some have the lab testing fee built in while others require an additional payment of up to $30). Check out this guide for where to buy a radon test kit in your area.

How often do you need to test?

Radon should be tested every couple of years, or more frequently if your home goes through any renovations or significant changes. Radon is more likely to enter your home through your basement, so if you spend a majority of your time down there, you should test for radon more frequently.

If you’re concerned about other ways your house might be affecting your health, check out these other blogs:




Photo credit: Porsche Brosseau

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Read 4 Comments

  1. Thank you Blue Cross/Blue Shield for helping to educate our citizens of the danger of living, working, or attending school in environments with elevated levels of radioactive radon gas. Our mission is to help prevent future deaths from radon exposure. Most people have no idea if they have this cancer causing agent in their homes with them. The only way to know is to test. Hope your readers will also check out our website and realize that by going to to order a test kit, they can help us continue our mission to educate others about this silent killer.
    Gloria Linnertz
    Citizens For Radioactive Radon Reduction

  2. Great article! I’ve been a Home Inspector since 2014 and also test for radon. I can’t believe how many people I run into that are just clueless about its dangers. Thanks for writing this.

  3. It’s really alarming to know that radon is responsible for causing around 21,000 deaths in the US each year. Also, reading your article made me realize that I shouldn’t be too comfortable that we’re safe in our own homes. To avoid any health problems, it would probably be better to have our house tested for radon and see if there’s a need for mitigation.

  4. Thank you so much educating people related to the danger of radon and how radon is becoming one of the main cause of lung cancer in non smokers.
    This article really help us to be more aware about radon.

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