Health experts: test for "silent killer" in your home

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

Health agencies throughout the United States are trying to help guard families against radon-the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers!

Experts say as many as one in three Eau Claire homes could have a radon problem.

Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless, radioactive gas that causes lung cancer.
Health experts say millions of people are exposed to the 'silent killer' every year.
Fortunately, the Eau Claire City County Health Department says every homeowner has the ability to eliminate the issue under their roof.

“I guess I was kind of surprised that we had radon in our home,” said Melissa Callies.

After living in their house for 13 years, Tim and Mellisa Callies found out just this fall that radon level in their house is a lot higher than it should be.

“Radon levels tend to be higher in the basement,” explained Steve Polzin, with Classic Radon Services.

Polzin was the one who tested the Callies' home for radon.

He says he found more than four-times as much radon in their home than the level the Environmental Protection Agency would consider safe.

“We exercise in our basement and we use our basement a lot;” said Tim Callies, “and you definitely don't want to expose yourself to something like that.”

Polzin says he noticed houses built on hills tend to have higher radon levels.
But, adds overall there is no formula on which houses will have it. It's random.

The Eau Claire City County Health Department says the solution to high levels of radon is reducing concentrations of the gas.
Polzin says installing a machine called a mitigation system does that.

“It will draw and suck those gases in here, up and out, and get them out of the home,” he explained.

Polzin says because of low air circulations in the house most people get exposed to radon in the winter months.

The Eau Claire City County Health Department says between 5 and 10 percent of the homes in Wisconsin have radon above the recommended level.
“It's a good idea to check all homes and make sure, because, it's pretty prevalent in the area,” said Polzin.

“Just for a peace of mind- it’s worth it,” added Tim Callies.

The Eau Claire City County Health Department provides short-term and long-term in-home radon tests.

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