January is National Radon Action Month, and the Watertown Department of Public Health is warning citizens about exposure to this colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It is the nation’s leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and second leading cause of lung cancer among smokers.

Radon is naturally present in the ground and can enter buildings through their foundations. Both old and newer homes can be susceptible to radon. The only way to know the level of radon in your home is to test it. The Watertown Department of Public Health offers free radon test kits to citizens while supplies last.

State statistics indicate that between 5 and 10% of homes in Wisconsin have elevated airborne concentrations of radon in significantly occupied spaces.

More than 80 radon mitigation contractors in Wisconsin are nationally certified and install highly effective soil-depressurization radon control systems. Thousands of systems are installed in existing homes in Wisconsin each year. New construction can include features to reduce radon entry recommended by the standards for green building from the National Association of Home Builders.

Radon test kits can be obtained free of charge from the Watertown Department of Public Health, 515 S. First St. Watertown (phone call prior to pick up required), the Jefferson County Health Department, 1541 Annex Road Jefferson, and the Dodge County Health Department 199 County Road DF in Juneau. Test kits are only available while supplies last.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, each health department may have a different procedure for picking up a kit. It would be advised to call before picking up a kit: Watertown – 920-262-8090, Jefferson — 920-674-7275, Dodge – 920-386-3500.

One can find more information about radon on the DHS website at http://www.lowradon.org.

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