On Thursday, April 25, the Kent County Board of Commissioners approved funding for two staff positions to investigate homes that are lead-poisoning children. Landlords who fail to act to be held accountable.
In Case of Emergency
If your home has elevated levels of radon, get it fixed as soon as possible. The average cost of fixing a radon problem in the U.S. is $1,200. Low-income families may qualify for assistance in home repairs.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water within the earth.
As this gas moves up from the ground, it can find its way into homes through small openings and can build up inside the home.
Many things contribute to a home's radon levels, including characteristics of the home itself. As a result, radon is very site specific. Just because your neighbor doesn't have radon in their home will not guarantee that you don't have radon in yours!
Who is at Risk?
Elevated radon levels in homes are common in colder climates where homes are sealed against the weather and kept closed for much of the year. Of the tests conducted in Kent County homes during recent years, one in every seven (16%) have come back elevated.
Several studies have demonstrated that children are more susceptible to radon exposure than adults.
There are no early symptoms of radon exposure and no easy way to test individuals for exposure. The best prevention is to test the home.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, resulting in approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancer.
Testing your home for radon is very simple with a do-it-yourself test kit. These kits are easy and take just 3-7 days and are available from either the Kent County Health Department or the Healthy Homes Coalition for $5.00.
To order a test kit online, check out the Air Check, Inc. partnership with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality by clicking here. Kits through this partnership cost $7.95.
The negative effects from radon are 100% preventable. Test your home. If your home has elevated levels of radon, get it fixed as soon as possible. The average cost of fixing a radon problem in the U.S. is $1,200. Low-income families may qualify for assistance with radon mitigation.
For more information on testing your home or getting repairs for radon contact the Healthy Homes Coalition.
Did You Know...
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.
Little Louian's recently renovated home was in good condition, yet there were still things about the home environment that triggered Louian's asthma. Things had gotten so out of control that Louian ended up in the emergency room four times in a year. Healthy Homes provided Louian's mom with the knowledge, skills, and tools she needed to take action.
But this is just one of many families in need of support. Asthma attacks are the leading reason kids are going to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s emergency room. We need to do more to keep children like Louian from hurting, and we can with your help.
In November of 2018, the World Health Organization stepped firmly into the healthy housing world when it released its WHO Housing and Health Guidelines. While local conditions are different all over the world, the strategies WHO suggests are universal and certainly apply to Grand Rapids.