Importance of testing for high levels of radon in your home

State offers free radon test kits

Radon test kits available

Almost 40 percent of Idaho homes tested for radon have higher than recommended levels, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.The naturally occurring radioactive gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, following smoking. Radon test kits are available for purchase at the Lincoln County Health Department or by calling 715-536-0307.

Radon is naturally occurring and comes from the radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. High levels of radon in your home can expose you and your family to radiation, which can damage your lungs and increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

Everyone should take radon seriously because it is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and claims the life of almost 21,000 Americans a year.

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According to a National Health Advisory from the federal government -more than 21,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer every year.

It is recommended that all homes get tested for radon. Kits can be picked up at the Outagamie County Public Health office.

The risk to smokers increases significantly when living in a high-radon environment, such as our area. "By testing, you can take immediate action to reduce your home's radon level if necessary and help protect your family's health". The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that one in 15 homes nationwide has an elevated level of radon (a level at or above the action level).

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It is estimated that almost one home in every 15 in the USA has an elevated radon level. The EPA and the USA surgeon general urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and other buildings for radon.

Radon is present everywhere, but the greatest exposure is inside buildings.

Radon testing isn't expensive and can be done either by a professional or by purchasing your own kit. The Lincoln County Health Department recommends testing for radon if you have never tested your home before or during real estate transactions. The maximum reading for Greene County was 590 pCi/L, the minimum Greene County reading was 0.1 pCi/L, with an average reading of 7.14 pCi/L. Tests should be performed in the lowest level of the home that is frequently occupied.

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If your home registers high levels of radon, it can be removed from your home through a variety of mitigation systems. Lincoln County Health Department is always working for a safer and healthier Lincoln County.

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