According to experts, 7-24% of homes in Alpena, Cheboygan, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties have elevated levels of radon.
Radon is an odorless and colorless radioactive gas that can seep into homes and cause lung cancer.
January is National Radon Action Month. In conjunction with the designation, District Health Department No. 4 is handing out free radon test kits through its Give a Can, Get a Kit offer. Residents in the four-county area can receive a free test kit by donating a non-perishable food item, all of which will be given to a local food pantry.
“There are no warning signs for radon and the only way to know if there is a risk of exposure is to test,” said Kevin Prevost, Director of Environmental Health. “When property owners test for radon, they can identify problems early and take steps to reduce elevated radon levels.”
Testing every two years is suggested as homes settle and slight cracks in the foundation can result in changing radon levels.
Free kits can be picked up, and non-perishable foods dropped off, at DHD#4 offices in Alpena, Atlanta, Cheboygan, and Rogers City, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.