Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless gas that occurs naturally in the soil. It enters your home through cracks in the foundation, walls and openings around pipes and sump pumps. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer to non-smokers and the 2nd leading cause for smokers. According to the EPA, an estimated 21,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer due to radon.
The only way to know the radon level in a house is to measure it.
Testing is easy and should only take a few minutes of your time. Testing for radon in your home with a short-term radon test takes only 48 hours. Test kits are available from local hardware stores and from the Washington County Health Department. Health Department radon test kits are available at NO CHARGE when picked up at our office at 333 E Washington St., Suite 1100, West Bend between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday. If you would like a kit mailed to you, please send a check for $4.00 made out to the Washington County Health Department to the same address. Your completed test kit can be mailed from any mail box or post office. Five (5) first class postage stamps must be applied to the package. Analysis for kits obtained at the Health Department is at no charge.
If your test result is less than 4.0 pCi/L, retest every 2 years to check for any changes. If you remodel your house, recheck before remodeling a basement and after any significant changes to the layout of your house. If your test result is between 4 and 8 pCi/L, call the Health Department for a special long-term test kit. Long-term kits remain in place for a whole year. They are available from the Health Department at no charge, but must be approved by a Health Department sanitarian prior to pick up. If your short term test result is greater than 8 pCi/L, retest using another short term test.
If the result from your long-term test is at or above 4 pCi/L or if your initial and follow-up short term tests are both above 4Ci/L, call a radon mitigation contractor to have the radon vented out of your home. You should use a certified radon contractor to help assure your radon system is installed correctly. Using a certified radon contractor will help assure your family's safety and also assure future buyers of your home that the system is installed correctly.
Additional information about radon gas is available by calling 262-365-5878. You can access more information about radon, including a list of radon results by zip code and a listing for radon measurement and mitigation contractors, at the following websites: http:///www.lowradon.org and www.epa.gov/radon