January is National Radon Action Month and the Kewaunee County Health Department, the Wisconsin Department of Health And Family Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are encouraging everyone in Kewaunee County to learn more about radon and how to protect you and your family from being exposed to it.
Radon is a radioactive and odorless gas that comes from trace amounts of natural uranium in the ground. Radon seeps through cracks and openings in the basement and foundation of homes. Breathing indoor air with high level of radon can lead to lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.
Five to 10 percent of the homes in Wisconsin have elevated radon levels on the main floor. Systems can be installed to reduce radon levels. The EPA recommends that you fix your home if your radon level is found to be 4 picocuries per liter or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and in many cases can be reduced. Homes with high levels are found in all regions of Wisconsin, including Kewaunee County. The levels can vary greatly within neighborhoods, so everyone should test their home.
Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. The Kewaunee County Health Department sells short-term test kits for $8, which includes analysis. To obtain a test kit, just stop in at the Kewaunee County Health Department at 810 Lincoln St., Kewaunee during business hours, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please call 920-388-7160 for more information or if you have any questions.
For information on local radon levels by ZIP code, how to test, the health risk, and how to reduce radon in a house, look at the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services website at www.lowradon.org or the Northeast Wisconsin Radon Information Center at 920-683-4454.
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