Berrien County offering radon testing

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(Photo Supplied/Berrien County Health Department)

The Berrien County Health Department is raising awareness about radon and offering free testing kits to community members in honor of Radon Action Month.

Home radon testing kits typically cost between $10 and $200. The Health Department is offering free radon testing kits to community members through the month of February while supplies last. Testing kits may be picked up at the Health Department’s offices in Benton Harbor, 2149 E. Napier Ave. and Niles, 1205 N. Front St.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates radon is responsible for about 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year. There are no short-term side effects or a distinctive color, smell or taste to alert individuals of elevated radon levels in their home. Testing is the only way to determine if radon levels are at an actionable level.

“Radon is a silent threat present in many Michigan homes but, with proper testing and action, it can easily be mitigated,” said Nick Margaritis, manager of environmental health services at BCHD. “By offering radon testing kits at a reduced rate, we’re hoping to raise awareness about radon and make testing more accessible to our community.”

Residents are encouraged to test their home for radon every two to five years. According to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, 1 in every 4 homes is believed to have radon levels exceeding the federal action level. Elevated radon levels have been found in all 83 Michigan counties.

While elevated radon levels pose a threat to community health, they can be easily remedied through a radon mitigation system once identified.

For more information on radon testing and resources, visit Michigan.gov/Radon. Learn more about radon testing kits offered through BCHD by calling 269.926.7121.

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