Homeowners, take note: the city is handing out 200 free radon test kits, starting this week.
The kits can detect levels of the odorless, tasteless gas that's present in many Minnesota basements -- and is attributed to more than 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.
In 2014, the number of Minnesotans fixing their homes to lower radon levels went up dramatically. That's because of a new state law that requires home sellers to notify buyers if the home has been tested for radon. The Minnesota Radon Awareness Act also mandates that sells provide the results of the tests, let buyers know if any work has been done to fix problems, and provide a written warning statement and other information about radon.
State health officials say 40 percent of Minnesota homes have dangerous radon levels.
The free kits are available at the city's Development Review office, located at 250 S. 4th St., in Room 300. The office is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. When supplies run out, the office will offer kits for $9 at the same location.
More information on radon is available at www.health.state.mn.us/radon.