Eaton County, MI - You can't smell it, you can't see it, and you can't taste it.
But there could be high levels of radon gas, a known carcinogen, in your home. A Michigan survey found that 1 in 8 homes statewide has high levels of this gas - the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.
"Outside air is not a concern whereas inside air it can build up to where it can be dangerous," says Community Services Supervisor Greg Cabose of the Barry Eaton District Health Department.
That's why health officials at the Barry Eaton District Health Department are making it easy for you to test your home for radon. Folks in Barry and Eaton county can get a do-it-yourself radon test kit for free in January. The experts say the timing is key.
"Michigan as well as across the United States promotes testing during closed house conditions which is typically during winter months when your doors and windows are closed," says Cabose.
You can't detect this silent killer in the air at your home without the test. The gas is produced naturally when the uranium in bedrock and soil naturally decays. The radon gas then seeps into your home.
Health experts warn against a common mistake.
"Just because your neighbor has a low level doesn't mean that your house next door doesn't have a high level," says Cabose. "You really need to test your own house."
The test is simple. Your first step is to fill out the exact date and time when you begin and end the test.
Hang it in the lowest living area of your home, like a basement, for three to seven days. You'll want it in your breathing area - that's two to five feet off the ground. Put it on a table or hang it in the air with string.
Then when you done mail it to the lab for your results.
If you live in Ingham, Clinton or Jackson county, contact your local health department for information on radon test.
For people in Barry and Eaton county, here are the locations you can get the test for free during business hours:
· Cloverdale-General Store, 7651 S. M-43 Hwy., 269-623-2994
· Dowling-Public Library, 1765 East Dowling Rd., 269-721-3743
· Nashville-Good Time Pizza, 501 N. Main St., 517-852-9100
· Hastings-Health Department, 330 W. Woodlawn Ave., 269-945-9516, x 3,5
· Middleville-Village Office, 100 E. Main Street, 269-795-3385
· Terry’s Woodbury Café-7170 Saddlebag Rd., Woodbury Facility: 517-586-7445
· Bellevue- Riverside Café, 420 E. Capital Ave., 269-763-9481
· Charlotte- Health Department, 1033 Healthcare Dr., 517-541-2615
· Eaton Rapids-Robins Nest, 6053 S. Clinton Trail, 517-663-9801
· Lansing-Delta Township, 7710 W. Saginaw Hwy, 517-323-8540
· Mulliken- Swede’s Grill, 89 Grand Ledge Hwy, 517-649-8941
· Olivet-The Willow Tree, 107 N. Main Street, 269-749- 4108
For more information about radon, call or visit the Environmental Health Division of the Barry-Eaton District Health Department in Hastings at 330 W. Woodlawn Avenue or in Charlotte at 1033 Health Care Drive.