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Health department warns public about radon

January 4, 2019

January is National Radon Action Month, and the Watertown Department of Public Health is warning citizens about exposure to this colorless, odorless, radioactive gas.

According to a media release from the health department, radon is the nation’s leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and second leading cause of lung cancer among smokers.

Radon is naturally present in the ground and can enter buildings through their foundations, stated the release. Both old and newer homes can be susceptible to it. State statistics indicate that between 5 and 10% of Wisconsin homes have elevated airborne concentrations of radon in significantly occupied spaces.

The only way to know the level of radon in one’s home is to test it, stated the release. Radon test kits can be obtained free of charge from the Watertown Department of Public Health, 515 S. First St., Watertown; the Jefferson County Health Department, 1541 Annex Road, Jefferson; and the Dodge County Health Department, 199 county Highway DF, Juneau. Test kits are only available while supplies last.

More than 80 radon mitigation contractors in Wisconsin are nationally certified and install highly effective soil-depressurization radon control systems, stated the release. Thousands of systems are installed in existing Wisconsin homes each year. New construction should include features to reduce radon entry recommended by the standards for green building from the National Association of Home Builders.

More information about radon can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website, www.lowradon.org.

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