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Free radon kits available
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DARLINGTON - January is National Radon Month. Radon testing is a small investment that can pay big dividends for homeowners. Testing is the only way to know what the radon level is in a home. The Lafayette County Health Department has free radon test kits available.

Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that is naturally present in the ground and enters houses through their foundations. Breathing radon for extended times increases the risk of lung cancer. Since radon is widespread and concentrations vary greatly from home to home, every home having contact with the ground should be tested.

A home's radon level can be substantially reduced. The cost for reducing radon in a home is around $1,000, and the investment could make a home easier to sell.

More than 50 radon mitigation contractors in Wisconsin are nationally certified and install highly-effective systems. Thousands of systems are installed in existing homes in Wisconsin each year. When having a new home built, features that reduce radon entry can be included for little added cost.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and is responsible for several thousand preventable lung cancer deaths each year. State statistics indicate that between 5 and 10 percent of the homes in Wisconsin have elevated airborne concentrations of radon in significantly occupied spaces.

For more information, contact the Lafayette County Health Department at (608) 776-4895 or call (800) LOW-RADON.