January is National Radon Action Month and the Manitowoc County Health Department is encouraging everyone in Manitowoc County to learn more about radon and how to protect you and your family from being exposed to it.
Radon is a radioactive and odorless gas that comes from trace amounts of natural uranium in the ground. Radon seeps through cracks and openings in the basement and foundation of homes. Breathing indoor air with high level of radon can lead to lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers.
Five to ten percent of the homes in Wisconsin have elevated radon levels on the main floor. Systems can be installed to reduce radon levels. Homes with high levels are found in all regions of Wisconsin including Manitowoc County. The levels can vary greatly within neighborhoods, so everyone should test their home.
Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. Short term radon test kits are available from the Manitowoc County Health Department for $5. Analysis is included in this price. To obtain a test kit, just stop in at the Manitowoc County Health Department at 1028 S. 9th Street, Manitowoc or call (920) 683-4155.
For additional information on local radon levels by zip code, how to test, the health risk, and how to reduce radon levels in a house, look at the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services website at www.lowradon.org.