Officials Warn to Check Radon Gas Levels in Homes
The radioactive gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer
SUPERIOR, Wis. – Radon kills up to 20,000 people every year in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Homeowners can’t see or smell the cancer-causing radioactive gas, and the EPA estimates about one in fifteen homes has high enough radon levels for action to be taken.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking.
Smoke and CO2 detectors don’t pick it up, so it’s impossible to tell which homes have high radon levels without doing a test.
Radon test kits can be bough for only about ten dollars at hardware stores. The kits sample radon levels in homes for two to five days. Homeowners then send the kits to a lab, and the lab sends back results in about two weeks.
Many homes in the Northland have been found to contain an action level for radon exposure.
“It’s really important to get the test done. Looking at the data today, twenty percent of the homes that were tested in Superior actually are above the action levels for radon. So that’s one in five houses that are tested actually are above that level,” said Battalion Chief Camron Vollbrecht of the Superior Fire Department.
If home levels are above the radon action level, a vapor exhaust system can be installed in a basement or cellar that filters radon out.
It’s recommended that every home gets tested for radon every two to five years, or when a change in the home has happened like new insulation or a new ventilation system.