Hales Corners — If radon is seeping into your home, the Hales Corners Health Department thinks you would want to know about it.
As part of National Radon Action Month in January, the department is offering radon test kits for resident homeowners through a grant program in coordination with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Radon Information Center.
To obtain a kit, residents can call (414) 529-6155.
Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that is naturally present in the ground. It originates when uranium, a common element in soil, breaks down. This gas can enter a building through foundation cracks, openings and crevices.
State health officials have cited federal estimates that identify exposure to radon gas as the nation's second-leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The higher the lifetime exposure to radon, the greater the risk for lung cancer is.
"This is a wake-up call," said Debra Persak, health officer for the Hales Corners Health Department.
Persak noted that 2009 statistics from the Wisconsin Radon Information Center revealed that elevated radon levels were identified in nearly 63 percent of Hales Corners homes that were tested through their radon surveillance program.
"Fortunately, this cause of lung cancer is largely preventable," said Persak.
Radon concentration in air can be measured with simple, inexpensive test kits available from hardware stores and local public health agencies.
If initial and follow-up testing reveal elevated radon levels, there are ways to mitigate the problem and lower the exposure. Certified mitigation contractors can install a ventilation system that reduces exposure to levels below what is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Comprehensive radon information for Wisconsin can be found at lowradon.org.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Hales Corners police report: Dec. 18, 2014 issue
- New fixes, expanded collection slated for Hales Corners Public Library
- Pawn shop ordinance would help Hales Corners Police Department identify sale of stolen goods
- Hales Corners police report: Dec. 11, 2014 issue
- Select Hales Corners Library services on hold during carpet project
- Tailgate 'n skate with Santa in Hales Corners
- English language learners and special education students thrive in one mixed Whitnall classroom
- Hales Corners police report: Dec. 4, 2014 issue
- Zoo Interchange traffic work update
- New fire department staffing increases Hales Corners tax rate