Dakota County residents are encouraged to test their homes for radon during National Radon Action Month in January.
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils. It has no color, taste or smell. It can enter homes through cracks or openings in walls or foundations. It's the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the United States; more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths are attributed to radon each year.
About 2 in 5 Dakota County homes have dangerous levels of radon gas, and about 1 in 5 new homes still have dangerous levels. Fortunately, the risk from radon is largely preventable.
Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes 3–7 days. Test results will be mailed to you, and a County representative will follow up with you if your test indicates high levels of radon. While it is best to test during colder months, it can be done year-round. Dakota County offers one free radon test kit per Dakota County resident at the following locations:
- Northern Service Center, 1 Mendota Road W., West St. Paul
Public Health Department, fourth floor
- Western Service Center, 14955 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley
Public Health Department, second floor
A list of other test kit vendors, and other radon information, can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health radon website. The department also offers an interactive radon levels map.
Minnesota law requires disclosure and information be provided to buyers about radon during Minnesota home sales. The law does not require radon testing or mitigation. Another law requires that all homes built since 2009 include passive radon resistant features.