With 21,000 Americans exposed to radon dying from lung cancer every year, the City of Racine Health Department is encouraging residents to test their homes for the radioactive gas.

About 24 to 41 percent of the homes in Racine have higher levels of radon that required immediate action, according to a press release by the City of Racine Health Department.

 

The odorless radioactive gas is naturally found in the ground, but it can enter buildings through the foundation in newer and older homes. Property owners are encouraged to test their home to see if the radon levels exceed the EPA recommendation of 4 picocuries per Liter (pCi/L) of air or more.

“Testing your home for radon is one of the easiest ways to help keep your family safe and healthy,” said Marcia Fernholz, director of Environmental Health at the City of Racine Health Department. “Fortunately this cause of lung cancer is largely preventable, and the first step is a simple test. If an elevated radon level is found, it can be easily and effectively corrected.”

Kits are available for $6 for a short-term test and $10 for a long-term test.  If the tests show higher levels of radon, the EPA recommends that homeowners take action to cut the level by having a radon reduction system installed by a professional. The system involves putting in a vent pipe and exhaust fan.

 

For more information call the City of Racine Health Department Environmental Division at 262-636-9203 or visit the City’s website.

If you don’t live in Racine, check out the health departments for your community.

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.