Minnesota state health officials are proposing more disclosure about the presence of radon in homes during home sales. If approved, the “Radon Awareness Act” would require sellers in the state would have to provide information outlining the health risks of radon and encourage home buyers to conduct a radon test before closing or moving into the home.
Illinois adopted such a proposal a few years ago. Prior to the law, about 10 percent of real estate transactions included a radon test. About 40 percent of transactions in that state now involve a radon test, says Gloria Linnertz, an Illinois radon activist.
Minnesota has some of the country’s highest indoor levels of radon. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer.
Paul Eger, chief lobbyist for the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®, says that the state already has disclosure laws in place that include environmental concerns — like radon, mold, lead paint, and asbestos. “We do have concerns of starting a list of individual items in statute,” Eger says.
The bill would require a clear disclosure whether sellers have ever tested the home for radon.
“We feel it has good potential to increase radon testing and mitigation in Minnesota,” Daniel Tranter, a supervisor at the state Health Department’s indoor air unit, told the Star Tribune. “We feel it’s a good opportunity to include [a test] in the home inspection.”
A second bill takes it a step further and would mandate a radon test before any home sale is completed in the state.