City targets ‘silent killer’ with radon kits

Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.

by Adam Daniels

The City of Minneapolis will give away more than 250 radon test kits tomorrow to raise awareness about a problem affecting one in three Minnesota homes.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services will donate the kits and will also be providing safety tips for the public.

Radon gas, which is odorless, colorless and tasteless, is called a “silent killer.” Prolonged exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers.

Last May, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced the Indoor Radon Exposure Abatement and Detection Act. Fashioned after a Minnesota law, the bill would set national standards for radon testing and create a rebate program for installation of mitigation systems in new homes.

Since then, the bill hasnâÄôt made much progress, but state Rep. Kim Norton, DFL-Rochester, who worked on the Minnesota Radon Bill, said she remains confident in rising public awareness.

“IâÄôm certainly letting [Klobuchar] take the lead, but IâÄôve made it clear to her that any time sheâÄôs ready to move IâÄôm certainly willing to âĦ do whatever I can to support what sheâÄôs doing,” Norton said. “After the
elections are over and certainly after she gets back working on her legislation, IâÄôll be there for her if she needs me.”

Norton said she last spoke with Klobuchar earlier this summer. While Norton acknowledges that the senator has a lot on her plate, the downtrodden economy is making solutions difficult.

Norton said the bill would help households that canâÄôt afford to fix the problem on their own.

“The cost factor is sometimes frightening for people,” Norton said. The concerning factor is once they find out they have high levels of radon, whether they can they afford to fix it.

The test kits will be handed out between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday at the Minneapolis Development Review.