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St. Croix County residents urged to test for radon gas

Noting that January is National Radon Action Month, the Public Health Department is encouraging everyone in St. Croix County to learn more about radon.

"In winter when homes are tightly sealed against the cold, people should test their indoor air for radon to see if this potentially harmful gas may be seeping in through the foundation," said Ed Thurman, St. Croix County environmental health specialist.

Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas that is harmlessly dispersed in outdoor air, but when trapped in buildings, can be harmful at elevated levels.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reports that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. and that it is a serious public health problem. The NAS estimates that radon causes between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year.

"Because you can't see or smell radon" continued Thurman, "people tend to minimize the health effects and ignore the possibility that it might exist in elevated levels in their homes."

Because it is so widespread and unpredictable, the only way to know if radon gas is at dangerous levels in your home is to do a radon test. Testing homes for radon is simple and inexpensive. If discovered, radon problems can be fixed for costs similar to many common home repairs.

Radon test kits that meet EPA guidelines are available for $5. There are no other lab fees. This is a special promotion for Radon Action Month only. It is limited to residents who wish to test their St. Croix County home and is not to be used for business purposes.

Kits can be picked up at the following county offices: Land and Water Conservation office in Baldwin, Planning and Zoning office at the Government Center in Hudson or the Public Health Department in New Richmond. To have a kit mailed to you for an extra $2 or a total of $7, mail a check to Public Health Department/Radon Action Month Promotion, 1445 N. Fourth St., New Richmond, WI 54025.

For general radon information visit or contact Ed Thurman at 715-246-8370.