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For Immediate Release
January 3, 2024
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

DHS Encourages Homeowners, Property Owners, and Child Care Centers to Test for Radon

Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall and leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers

During National Radon Action Month, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is encouraging home and building owners, along with child care providers, to test their buildings for radon.

Radon, an odorless, radioactive gas naturally present in the ground, is found across Wisconsin, and enters buildings through their foundations. Approximately one in 10 homes in our state have elevated radon levels.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s action level for safety is 4 picocuries per liter (4 pCi/L). Last March, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) enacted rule changes which require licensed family and group child care providers to test for radon and install a mitigation system if radon levels exceed the EPA action level.

"Reducing radon exposure is a top environmental health concern," said Paula Tran, State Health Officer. "DHS applauds DCF for taking this important step toward protecting all Wisconsinites from exposure to radon by putting children, and their caretakers, first."

This National Radon Action Month, DHS encourages all Wisconsinites to test their homes and business locations for radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and it is estimated to cause over 21,000 deaths each year in the United States. Approximately 962 of these deaths are in Wisconsin. High radon levels are especially dangerous for people who smoke; their risk of lung cancer is 10 times higher than non-smokers.

Fortunately, this cause of lung cancer is largely preventable, and the first step is to test your house, apartment, or business location for radon. The cost of mitigation can be a barrier for some families and businesses; Wisconsin residents can visit to find their Radon Information Centers (RIC) in Wisconsin or speak with local public health department radon experts by calling 888 LOW-RADON to discuss available options. Reduced-cost test kits are available through RICs and test kit promotions are happening throughout January.

Any house or building can be at risk for high radon levels, including apartments and commercial buildings. Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe living and working conditions to their tenants and should work with a certified radon testing and mitigation contractor to get started on addressing the issue for their tenants. DHS maintains a list of certified radon professionals that can provide radon measurement and mitigation, and encourages homeowners and property owners to prioritize using a certified contractor.

More information can be found at  

Last revised January 3, 2024