Lawmakers in Minnesota are taking radon seriously – as they should – by introducing a new bill called the Minnesota Radon Awareness Act. If passed, this would require that anyone selling a home disclose information about whether or not the radioactive gas has been detected within the property. Additionally, real estate professionals would be provided with educational information about radon from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) that they would be expected to give to homebuyers as part of a transaction.
This is all part of an effort to decrease exposure to the hazardous gas, which, according to the MDH, is present in one out of every three Minnesota houses. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, causing an estimated 20,000 deaths in the United States each year.
"The problem with radon is that it can decay and cause radioactive particles to injure your lung and cause lung cancer," Mayo Clinic Health System oncologist Dr. Stephan Thome told Minnesota media outlet KEYC News 12. He added that there are two important ways to avoid this potentially deadly disease. "The first thing to do is not to smoke. And the second thing is if you buy a new home [or] sell a home – make sure you have the radon checked."
If you want to have your home inspected for signs of this deadly gas, it's a good idea to reach out to a home inspection contractor. These professionals will conduct radon testing at your current property and determine if you are safe. Additionally, it's essential to get a house inspected before you buy it, since it's impossible for the untrained eye to pick up on these kinds of hazards.