Radon: Protect Your Family From Lung Cancer

The Department of Health Services estimates that 1 out of 10 homes in Wisconsin have high radon levels.

Radon testing is not required by law or regulated in Wisconsin. The Lincoln County Health Department recommends testing for radon if you have never tested your home before or during real estate transactions. “Since you can’t see or smell radon, people tend to forget the health effects that radon can have,” says Meghan Williams, Environmental Health Specialist for Lincoln County Health Department. “The only way to know if your home has radon is to test. We encourage everyone to test their homes because levels can vary drastically from home to home.” Testing a home for radon is easy and can put all owners, sellers, and buyers minds at ease. If a radon test is conducted, it should be done in the lowest livable level of the home, as this is the most accurate estimate of radon exposure within the home.

Testing can be completed in a Do-It-Yourself fashion. Radon test kits are available for purchase at the Lincoln County Health Department or by calling 715-536-0307. The cost for a short term radon kit is $8.00 and is kept in your home for 2-4 days. Short term tests provide quick results. Long-term kits are $18.75 and are kept in your home for more than 3 days and can be used for up to 1 year. These tests provide a better idea of what you home’s year-round average radon level is.

Homes with radon levels of four (4) picocuries per Liter (4 pCi/L) or higher should be fixed. Most often, a radon mitigation system is installed in the lowest level of homes and ventilated outside above the rooftop to prevent radon gas from entering the house. Certified contractors in Wisconsin can be found on the Department of Health Services website at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/radon/radon-proficiency.htm

For more information about radon, visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/radon/index.htm.

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