January is National Radon Action Month. Calumet County Public Health recommends that all residents test their homes at least once for the presence of radon, as high levels are a common issue in the area. Many homes, however, continue to go untested. If high levels of radon are detected, simple steps can be taken to correct the problem and make your home safer.
About one out of every ten homes in Wisconsin has high radon levels. In Calumet County, 50% of homes that completed radon testing had high radon levels. Any home, whether old or new, with or without a basement, can have radon. Since you cannot smell, taste, or see radon, the only way to know if you have high levels is to test for it, and the winter months are the ideal time to do so. Test kits, which are affordable and easy to use, are available through Calumet County Public Health to help protect you and your family from radon exposure.
What is Radon?
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that occurs naturally in the soil. Radon can enter your home through cracks in the foundation, openings around joints and pipes, and dirt floors. Radon can build to high levels inside your home.
Why Test for Radon?
Long-term exposure to high levels of radon is a risk factor for lung cancer. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. Radon exposure combined with smoking creates a serious health risk. The only way to know if you have radon inside your home is to conduct a radon test.
How to Test for Radon?
Testing is simple and inexpensive. Calumet County Public Health has a limited supply of test kits available for purchase. Depending on your needs, both short-term and long-term test kits are available. The price of a short-term test kit is $7.00 and the price of a long-term test kit is $21.00. The kits are available at the Calumet County Public Health office, Room 212, located in the Calumet County Courthouse, 206 Court Street, Chilton, WI 53014. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Test kits are also available by mail, postage fees apply. To place an order to get a test kit by mail, contact the Eastern Wisconsin Regional Radon Information Center at (920) 683-4454. If you have questions, or want more information on radon, go to https://manitowoccountywi.gov/departments/health-department/radon/ or call the Regional Radon Information Center at the number listed above.