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Frequently Asked Questions About Radon

Radon gas is ranked by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the most serious environmental health problems facing us today. Oakland County's Environmental Health Services (EHS) provides a variety of educational pamphlets and information for County residents. 

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed by the decay of the element radium. Radium is found in the soil, rocks and uranium ore. Radon gas is colorless, odorless, tasteless and is thought to be the leading cause of lung cancer in non smokers.

How do I test for Radon gas in my home?

The Oakland County Health Division has radon test kits available for a small fee at either of our two EHS offices. Two different types of test kits are available: activated charcoal based or Alpha-Track Extended Analysis which both come with directions to make home testing easy for you. Many local hardware stores offer the charcoal/passive type of radon gas test kit as well.

What are some control measures I can take to limit the amount of radon gas in my home?

There are many things a homeowner can do to help limit or even prevent the accumulation of radon gas in the home. Here are some examples:  

  • Sealing cracks and openings: Seal cracks in the foundation and basement floor. Seal around utility pipes and any gaps between walls and floors or ceilings.
  • Cover: Cover exposed earth such as in a crawl space. Provide a cover for drains and your sump drain.
  • Hire a mitigator:  Hire a nationally certified radon mitigation contractor to install an active soil depressurization (ASD) system. 
  • New Home Construction: New homes can be built using radon resistant techniques.  Talk to your builder about installing a passive radon vent system in your home during the construction process. Be sure to test your new home for radon.

For more information on radon, contact the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Radon Hotline at 800-723-6642 or to speak with a sanitarian at the Oakland County Health Division, please call the Pontiac office at 248-858-1312 or the Southfield office at 248-424-7190.