State offers free radon test kits

State offers free radon test kits

If the route of exit from the ground is blocked by a home foundation and concrete slab, the gas enters that structure through cracks and gaps in the building components. Radon test kits are available for purchase at the Lincoln County Health Department or by calling 715-536-0307.

The EPA recommends that homeowners fix their homes if radon levels are found to be 4 picocuries per liter or higher. To reserve a kit, contact the Health Department at 203-452-1030. "It can build up in your home, get into the air you breathe and can cause lung cancer in you and your loved ones", said Dr. Ruppert.

Over 20,000 Americans suffer from radon-related cancer each year, and it causes up to 15 percent of lung cancers worldwide. "New homes can be placed on property that has radon occurring in it", said Debra Hesse, Cancer Services Resource Manager.

One can't see, smell, or taste radon, but it could be present at a risky level in a home. Radon-resistant construction should be incorporated for new homes as well as major remodels when air flow is altered.

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Everyone should take radon seriously because it is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and claims the life of almost 21,000 Americans a year. "We encourage everyone to test their homes because levels can vary drastically from home to home". But the only way to know if radon is present is to test it. "If you test in the summer, we tell people you need to do things like have all your windows shut, not use your fan and shut your doors as quickly as possible". People set it in their homes for several days, then drop it in a postage-paid envelope and send it for processing to a laboratory approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

If you would like to have your home tested for radon, call the MSDH Radon Program at 1-800-626-7739.

Radon testing isn't expensive and can be done either by a professional or by purchasing your own kit. If high levels of radon are detected, licensed contractors can install mitigation systems to eliminate the problem and protect you and your family.

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