Eau Claire health dept. warns of dangers in Radon Action Month

EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - An invisible danger is affecting more than one-third of Eau Claire area homes, according to the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

January is Radon Action Month. The radioactive gas, radon, comes from soil beneath homes and it's the nation's second leading cause of lung cancer.

Jon Case of Eau Claire said after hearing of his neighbor's problem with radon, it was time to get his own home tested.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommended having radon removed if levels are above four picocuries per liter.

"(The levels) came back like about 64 (pCi/L)." "I was very much surprised," Case said.

Greg Welke with Hovland's Heating and Air Conditioning installs ventilation systems to remove radon.

(Radon) can accumulate to levels like Jon had, which can become a potential health hazard," Welke said.

"A fan connected to the (home's) slab is what creates the negative pressure and removes the radon from a home." "It's recommended that you test a home every two years ... You could find it at an elevated level in your house and your neighbor might have little or none," Welke said.

With an estimated 21,000 people dying each year from radon-caused cancer, but a cost of more than $1,000 to remove it, Case said it's a personal decision to make.

"It's one less thing you have to worry about, and wondering if something might happen down the road," Case said.

Test kits can be bought at the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. For more information, the department can be contacted at (715) 839-4718.

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