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January is Radon Action Month; What to know about this silent killer

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WAUSAU (WAOW)-- Radon kills about 21,000 Americans every year and the Environmental Protection Agency is making awareness a top priority in January.

Radon is radioactive gas often found in soil, rocks, and ground water. You can't see, smell or taste it, but exposure to the gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

In Wausau, over 65% of homes test higher than threshold of 4.0 pC/l establish by the EPA.

But numbers can vary drastically from house to house.

"There has been several in 200's and then right next door to one those it was 0.9 so you never know what your going to be," said Thomas DeSautel, President of The Radon Man of Wisconsin.

Radon enters the home, especially during the winter months, by heat rising in the home pulling the gas from the beneath the home.

"Therefore it could suck this radioactive atom in to your house… By sucking below the concrete with greater pressure than whats applied above the concrete, you can stop it from ever coming in," said DeSautel.

Once the radon system is in place, a simple scale is used to see the process is working.

If one side of the scale is higher than the other it's working as intended.

If the levels are equal the system may be frozen or malfunctioning and a technician should be contacted.

For those interested in testing a list of certified radon measurement or mitigation visit here.

Professionals suggest testing your home every two years.

Chase McNamara

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