Radon Testing Laws in Effect for 2014

Posted at: 01/02/2014 10:48 PM
Updated at: 01/02/2014 10:49 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- A new law now requires home owners to disclose radon testing information when selling a house. In their typical "disclosure statement packet" they must now include when they've done testing, what levels were detected, and if it has been mitigated.

"Radon is a gas that comes naturally from the soil and in our area for some reason, there's a lot of it that seeps up from the uranium, as it breaks down, it turns into radium, then radon," said Dan Hylland with Athelon Enterprises.

You can't smell, taste, or even feel radon when exposed to it, so many home buyers tend to overlook its long lasting effects. "They say it's the second leading cause of lung cancer, second only to smoking," said Hylland.

Since it can slip under the radar, home sellers are legally required to disclose radon testing information to buyers. "It's more on the sellers right now...Have you had it tested? Has it been mitigated? What did the numbers come up at? How recent was the test?" said Sylvia Rogers with Edina Reality.

If levels are higher than 4.0 picocuries per liter, it's considered high, but it can be taken care of. "Since radon comes from soil, rock, and water, anywhere the house touches soil you can potentially get that radon coming up, so the way you can fix it is to put suction on the soil, and then vent it through a 4 inch pipe to the outside," said Hylland.

Now, any mitigation efforts must be known to the buyer. "Our job is just to disclose, and to inform, and educate our buyers and sellers," said Rogers.

You'll now find a few more pages in the sellers disclosure packet. "The wording is a little bit different. There's a warning statement that brings more attention to radon and there's a very nice handout put out by the Minnesota Department of Health," said Hylland.

Of course, this is something you should test even if you're not selling or buying. Right now, Fillmore County Public Health is handing out free radon test kits. You can visit the Minnesota Department Of Health's website for more information on testing.