NEW ULM - Every hour, one person in the US dies from radon-related lung cancer. It is the largest environmental cancer risk and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable.
Brown-Nicollet Environmental Health, Brown County Public Health, Nicollet County Public Health and the Minnesota Department of Health recommend that all homes in Minnesota be tested for radon. It's the only way to know if your home has an elevated level of radon, which can cause lung cancer. Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls.
Test kits will be offered for free, beginning Jan. 7, on a first come, first serve basis until they are gone. To obtain a test kit, you may come to any of the following sites to pick-up your free kit and complete the required paperwork: (Please note hours vary)
Brown-Nicollet Environmental Health, 322 S. Minnesota Ave. , 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Brown County Public Health, 1117 Center Street, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday - Friday
Sleepy Eye City Offices, 200 Main St. East, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday
Springfield City Offices, 2 East Central, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays.
Minnesota Department of Health estimates that one in three existing Minnesota homes have radon levels that pose a large health risk over many years of exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and more than 21,000 deaths are attributed to radon each year.