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Radon and Your Home: What Your Family Needs to Know

how to keep this invisible gas from hurting your family’s health

In January we celebrate Radon Action Month. As we continue to spend more time at home, now, more than ever, it is important to test your home for radon.

What Is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is odorless and tasteless. The only way to know if you have high radon levels in your home is to test for it. As uranium breaks down in the soil, it travels through cracks and crevices to enter our home. If that radon gas accumulates in high levels then you should be concerned. Exposure to high levels of radon over time may cause lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking.

How Do You Know If You Have High Radon Levels In Your Home?

The only way to know if you have a high radon level in your home is to test for it. You can get a test kit at your local health department or hardware store. Simply follow the test directions, and once the test is complete, mail in to receive your results. If you have a high radon levels the next step is to fix it.

Fixing radon is a matter of installing a radon mitigation system. Mitigation systems vent the radon gas from below the home back into the outside air. If you are building, then there are things you can do to keep radon from entering your home. These radon resistant construction guidelines can be found on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Radon website (epa.gov/radon).

How Can You Learn More?

For more information and to get a radon test kit contact the WestCentral Radon Information Center, located in the Eau Claire City-County Health Department at 720 Second Ave., Eau Claire.

You may call us at (715) 839-4718 or visit our website at radon.echealthdepartment.org for more information. You can also visit the State of Wisconsin’s radon website at lowradon.org. A coupon for $2 off a short-term radon test is available on the health department’s website and is available in the office during the month of January.