RADON IS SPOOKY

Radon doesn’t rattle chains or say, “Boo!” But it is the leading cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked. Radon is a naturally-occurring, invisible radioactive gas which can be controlled in any home. The only way to know the radon level is to measure. Do it yourself or hire a professional.

About one in every six homes in the U.S. is being built radon-resistant, averaging about 200,000 homes annually, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The EPA suggests residences with a rating of 2 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter) or higher consider reducing their radon exposure with a radon mitigation system. With a mitigation system installed, a pipe carries radon gas out through the roof rather than letting it accumulate in the living spaces. If you are building a home, ask if your builder does radon-resistant construction.

It is cost-effective to install a radon-reduction system when building a new home, according to Jim Roberts of Roberts Homes & Real Estate. If a contractor has to go back later to fix a radon problem, he estimates, it will typically cost between $500 and $1250 in Fond du Lac.

A basic radon reduction system reduces radon levels, in most cases, to levels below EPA’s action level. An upgrade includes an in-line fan to provide even further reductions. All of the techniques and materials are commonly used in construction.

Twenty five percent of Wisconsin homes have radon over 4 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter) in basements. The EPA recommends that all homes built in these areas have radon mitigation systems.

The Fond du Lac County Health Department and the University of Wisconsin – Extension sell test kits to measure radon which are also available from some town clerks. Residents may look up average measurements for their zip code at www.FDLHealthyAir.com. They can also find a list of certified radon mitigators there. To find out more, call the Health Department at (920) 929-3085.

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