Jessica Mathews /

January is National Radon Action Month – marking an opportune time for Livingston County residents to test their homes for radon.

The Livingston County Health Department says it’s a health risk facing millions of people. Because more time is spent indoors during the winter months, January is said to be a good time to test for radon – a radioactive, invisible, odorless gas.

Radon comes from the natural, radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air people breathe. It’s tasteless, odorless, and colorless; and it has no warning symptoms so testing is the only way to know if people are at risk for health issues caused by radon. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon enters buildings through openings in the foundation floor or walls through things like sump openings, crawlspaces, floor/wall joints, cracks, etc. It can become trapped in buildings and then lead to elevated and harmful radon levels.

One in eight Michigan homes is likely to have an elevated radon level. According to a study conducted by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy or EGLE, radon is present in elevated levels in about 40% of Livingston County homes.

The Livingston County Health Department has short-term radon test kits available free of charge during the month of January.

Kits are also available at participating local city and township offices, while supplies last. Test kits can also be purchased from LCHD, local hardware stores, home improvement centers, some supermarkets, or directly from Radon test kit providers throughout the year.

More information is available in the attached press release and provided link.