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Departments » Health & Human Services-Public Health » Environmental Health
Radon

What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil, and water from the natural decay of uranium. While levels in outdoor air pose a relatively low threat to human health, radon can accumulate to dangerous levels inside buildings. You can't see, smell, or taste it, but an elevated radon level in your home may be affecting the health of your family.

Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the number one cause among non-smokers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the country each year. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has radon, your risk of lung cancer can be higher.
Where is Radon Found?
Radon has been found in elevated levels in homes in every state. No area of the country is free from risk. Indeed, two homes right next to each other can have vastly different radon levels. Just because your neighbor's house does not have an elevated level of radon does not mean that your house will have a low radon level. The only way to know if your home is under the EPA action level of 4 pCi/L is to test.

High levels of radon in homes usually come from the surrounding soil. Radon gas enters through cracks and openings--such as doors, windows, and plumbing fixtures--on the lower levels of your home. Hot spots include basements, first-floor rooms, and garages, but radon can be found anywhere in your house.
Who Should Test for Radon?
The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that all homes in he U.S. be tested for radon. Testing your house for radon is easy to do. If your house has a radon problem, you can take steps to fix it to protect yourself and your family.

You can find out if your home has an elevated radon level by conducting a simple test. It's as easy as opening a package, placing a radon detector in a designated area, and, after a set number of days, sending the detector back to a lab for analysis. The lab will then inform you of your radon test results.
Where Do You Obtain Radon Test Kits?
♦ Short-term radon charcoal kits are available at the Brown County Health & Human Services Department-Public Health Division, 610 S. Broadway St., Green Bay, Wisconsin, for Brown County residents for a $5.00 fee. There is a limit of one kit per household; however, if an elevated reading is obtained, one more kit will be allowed before referring to a certified radon mitigation contractor. For more information, call the Brown County Public Health Division at 448-6400.

♦ The Northeast Wisconsin Radon Information Center-Manitowoc County Health Department has radon kits available for pick up or by mail. For more information, call (920) 683-4155 or call toll free (888) 569-7236.

♦ Radon test kits are also available at your local home improvement or hardware store (many priced under $25).

♦ Order radon test kits by phone: 1-800-SOS-RADON (767-7236) Operated by Kansas State University in partnership with EPA.


FOR ADDITIONAL RADON INFORMATION -

Serving Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Brown and Manitowoc Counties:

NORTHEAST WISCONSIN RADON INFORMATION CENTER
JESSICA WANSERSKI & DIANE MITTNACHT, (920) 683-4155, fax (920) 683-4156
Toll Free (888) 569-7236
e-mail: jessicawanserski@co.manitowoc.wi.us
MANITOWOC COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
1028 S. 9TH STREET
MANITOWOC, WI 54220-5343

Serving All Counties:

WISCONSIN DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH
CONRAD WEIFFENBACH & WALT SMITH
608-267-4796 & 608-266-2817; fax 608-267-4853;
e-mail: Conrad.Weiffenbach@dhs.wisconsin.gov or

Walton.Smith@dhs.wisconsin.gov
P. O. BOX 2659
MADISON, WI 53701-2659

This webpage last updated 3/22/17.


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