EPA Radon potential maps by County.

What is Radon?

Radon is an invisible, color-less, odor-less, taste-less radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the decay of uranium within the ground.  The only way to know if your house has elevated levels of radon is to test for it.  The EPA recommends that every house be tested for radon!  They also recommend testing every two years there after.

Why do I need to test for it?

Every house is different not only in physical location but also in the materials used to build the house and the construction techniques in which it was built.  It doesn't matter if you have a 100 year old house or a brand new house, any house can have a radon problem.  Your neighbors may have tested already with results that were good, this doesn't mean that your house is good!  Get your house tested!  It is the only way to know for sure!

Why should I be concerned?

You should be concerned because being exposed to radon for a long period of time can lead to lung cancer.  Radon in the air breaks down into tiny radioactive elements that can lodge in the lining of the lungs, where they can give off radiation.  This radiation can damage lung cells and eventually lead to lung cancer.  It is estimated that about 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year are related to radon.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after cigarette smoking.

How can I limit my exposure to this deadly gas?

It is impossible to avoid it completely.  Radon is in the air we breathe, both indoors and out.  The average level of radon that naturally occurs indoors is around 1.3 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and the average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L.  Outdoors the radon generally disperses and does not reach high concentration levels.  Indoors the radon gas given off by the soil or rock below the structure can enter the structure through cracks in floors or walls, construction joints, or gaps in foundations around pipes, wires, or pumps.  Since radon is heavier than air, once it finds it's way into a structure it can accumulate to high levels.  The EPA strongly recommends fixing radon concentrations that are at 4.0 pCi/L or higher.  They also even recommend considering fixing levels that are in the 2.0-3.9 pCi/l range since most houses can be brought down to under 2.0 pCi/L fairly easily and inexpensively through the installation of a radon mitigation system and proper sealing of potential entry points.

Click on the links below for more information on Radon:

Minnesota Dept. of Health Radon


Wisconsin Dept. of Health Radon

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