Radon is an odorless, tasteless gas that comes from high uranium in soil, which is common in North Dakota.
Delmar Vetter has been conducting radon inspections for over 13 years and has found radon in places homeowners may least expect.
“It was in Mandan actually, and it was over 50 picocuries per liter. The EPA states that anything over four is recommended for radon mitigation systems,” said Vetter.
If undetected, high radon levels can lead to lung cancer.
“It’s the number two cause of cancer. Cigarette smoke is the number one cause of lung cancer overall. If you’re a non-smoker it’s the number one cause,” Justin Auto, an environmental scientist with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, said.
Auto said you can test for radon in your own homes.
Kits can be found at local hardware stores and Auto said the biggest thing is to place the kits at low levels in your home and to make sure there is nothing next to them.
“A family room, a bedroom like a nightstand. Something like two, no higher than seven feet. Like a bookcase,” Auto said.
It’s recommended that you inspect your home every three to five years just to be safe.
“It’s coming through cracks in our concrete, leaky windows, that’s how radon can get in. Anywhere radon touches the soil, that’s how radon can come into your home,” Auto said.
Prior to testing, all doors and windows in the house should be shut for 12 hours.
If radon is found in a home, a mitigation system has to be installed to remove the hazardous gas.