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Health department offering 8 dollar radon tests through January


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – The Marathon County health department is providing low priced radon testing kits as a part of National Radon Action Month.

Environmental health officer Sara Brown says a large majority of homes in the area test positive for elevated levels of radon due to the fact that Marathon County sits on a large bed of granite. "There's uranium inside the granite, and when that breaks down, you get the gas called radon." Radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer.

In the winter months, the gas can be pulled up through your foundation due to the heating. Brown says homes form a sort of vacuum. "From the heat and the air moving in the home, that gas gets sucked up inside, either through cracks or right through the concrete itself."

Brown says every home in the county should get tested to find a base level of radioactive exposure, and then get retested each time there's a major renovation or other changes in the construction or heating of the household.

Getting a positive test result doesn't necessarily mean expensive cleanup and treatment. Further tests may prove safe levels throughout the year.

Each test is only 8 dollars at the health department, through the end of January. You can call the health department for more information at 715-261-1900.