Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause among non-smokers. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home and only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. The EPA estimates radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer greatly increases.
Radon can be found all over the U.S. Radon comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. It can get into any type of building- homes, offices, and schools- and build up to high levels. But you and your family are mostly likely to get your greatest exposure at home. That’s where you spend most of your time.
You should test for radon. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. EPA also recommends testing in schools. Testing is inexpensive and easy – it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon. Check with your local health department for the cost per kit. Protect your family and test your home.
You can fix the problem. There are simple ways to fix a radon problem that are not costly. Even very high levels of radon can be reduced to acceptable levels. For more information regarding radon or testing, call the Radon Information Center serving your area at 888-LOW-RADON (569-7236) or your local health department. You may also visit the Wisconsin Radon Information website at www.lowradon.org
The Menasha Health Department has home radon test kits available for $6.00. Please call us at 967-3520 or stop by the Health Department at 316 Racine Street, Menasha Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm for more information.