Waukesha County

Radon Exposure is Leading Cause of Lung Cancer Among Non-Smokers

Wisconsin health officials, as part of National Radon Action Month, are encouraging homeowners to check their home's radon levels because exposure to radioactive radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers nationwide.


Radon is an odorless radioactive gas that is naturally present in the ground and can enter buildings through their foundations. Both old and newer homes can be susceptible to radon. Between 40 and 50 percent of homes tested in Southeast Wisconsin have elevated airborne concentrations on the main living level where people spend the most time, according to state data.


An estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused by radon annually among non-smokers, according to reports by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Surgeon General.


“Radon is an easily mitigated heath risk.  The small cost of the kit, available either through the County or at your local hardware store, is well worth the peace of mind knowing that your home and family are safe and healthy,” stated Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow.  


More than 90 radon mitigation contractors in Wisconsin (or more than 30 radon mitigation contractors in Southeast Wisconsin) are nationally certified and install highly effective soil-depressurization radon control systems. Thousands of systems are installed in existing homes in Southeast Wisconsin each year. New construction should include features recommended by the National Association of Home Builders to reduce radon entry.


For information about radon in Wisconsin, visit: www.lowradon.org


About the Environmental Health Division

The Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use – Environmental Health Division serves as The Southeastern Wisconsin Radon Information Center on behalf of Waukesha, Racine, and Milwaukee Counties.  Radon test kits are available through many local home supply stores, through the Department by calling 262-896-8300, or your local public health agency.

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