January is National Radon Action Month; prepare to test your home

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Radon test kits are available for purchase at the Lincoln County Health Department or by calling 715-536-0307. Long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer and is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.

"Radon is a naturally occurring gas and it's created by the uranium that you would find from the soil, so uranium is normally associated with mountains which is why some states like Colorado would be considered to have more radon", explained Colby Adams, who is the environmental health director for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Division of Public Health. "You can not see or smell radon".

There's something invisible in your home that could place you and your family at risk for lung cancer, and you may not even know it.

You're supposed to test for radon in the lowest part of your house and sometimes that may mean in your closet. With radon being a gas, the chemical can move upwards out of the ground and into the air where it can accumulate in certain homes and buildings. Kits can be picked up at the Outagamie County Public Health office. If the follow-up tests confirm elevated radon concentrations, then radon mitigation is recommended.

The answer and effort is simple: test your home. Hiring such an individual will help to ensure that the mitigation is done properly and safely according to industry standards, and the level of radon in your home is reduced below the action level.

Radon testing isn't expensive and can be done either by a professional or by purchasing your own kit.

For information on local radon levels by zip code, how to test, health risks, and how to reduce radon in a house, go to the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services website at www.lowradon.org or call the Northeast Wisconsin Radon Information Center at 920-683-4454. "It is very nice to test things but for low-income people, it is very hard to afford to actually fix it because it is $2500 or more", said Christensen. Such systems should be installed by a certified mitigation contractor. Remediation will cost you around $1,000.