Where we live, play, and work can have a greater impact on how long and well we live than medical care. Click on the tabs below to learn more about common concerns that can help you live a healthier life.
Landlord / Tenant
Many Walworth County residents live in rental housing. It is important that both tenants and landlords that rules ensure that these rental transactions are conducted fairly.
- Step 1: First contact your landlord in writing and describe the condition you are concerned about. Document the condition in detail, including photos, date, time, whom you notified, and when. You can also include a solution with a specific amount of time to correct the problem. Sign, date, and make a copy of the letter. Send it certified mail with a return receipt.
- Step 2: If the concerns are not resolved, you can contact your local building inspector and describe the conditions. Local building inspectors, who are familiar with local building codes can often investigate building code violations.
If No Resolution
If a problem has been verified and the landlord fails to correct it, you may file a complaint with the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Hotline at 800-422-7128 or DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov.
Official Wisconsin Department of Health Services Position Statement Regarding the Impact of Mold on Health:
Molds grow abundantly in outdoor plant and soil materials. Molds produce spores that are normally found in both indoor and outdoor dust. Mold growth is familiar to most people when it is seen as a fuzzy patch or stain spreading across food or damp surfaces. It is known that many molds produce chemicals that can be toxic if eaten. Few, if any, of these chemicals are commonly found in indoor air and are not suspected to be a health hazard to the general public.
Mold exposure from breathing indoor or outdoor air can be irritating and can aggravate allergies and asthma. Health effects of mold can be a concern where exposures are very high, such as in sawmills, grain elevators, and agricultural settings. Where there are people with severely weakened immune systems, such as in hospital transplant units, mold infection can be a serious concern and exposures should be aggressively controlled. A physician should be seen whenever health effects are experienced.
It is not practical to expect a building to be completely free of mold, nor is it necessary. However, mold growth on indoor surfaces is a sign of moisture presence, the cause of which should be identified and corrected. Indoor mold growth should be removed regardless of mold type, using appropriate cleaning methods for small spots and careful attention to dust control, seeking professional assistance for larger amounts.
Radon is a naturally occurring, odorless radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. About 1 in 10 homes in Wisconsin have high radon levels, and Walworth County has found higher levels of radon than average in Wisconsin. View the Wisconsin Radon Map
Testing for Radon
While you can’t see or smell radon, you can protect yourself and your family from it. Testing your home is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk. You can purchase a short-term radon test kit from Walworth County Public Health for $10 (includes laboratory analysis and shipping costs). Certified radon measurement professional are also available to test for you.
How to Reduce Radon
If your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (4pCi/L) or higher, talk with a contractor who is trained and certified for radon mitigation. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services maintains a list of contractors who are certified for radon mitigation by the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists or the National Radon Safety Board. The list can be found here (https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/radon/radon-proficiency.htm)
Experts are available to assist with questions and additional information. Contact the Kenosha and Walworth County Radon Information Center Brad.Wozniak@KenoshaCounty.org or call (262) 605-6746.
Human Health Hazards
A Human Health Hazard is defined as a substance, activity or condition that is known to have the potential to cause acute or chronic illness, to endanger life, to generate or spread infectious diseases, or otherwise to affect the health of the public (Wis. Stats Chapter 254.01(2)).
Determining the existence of a human health hazard involves a variety of criteria, including length of exposure, quantity and nature of exposure, type and number of individuals exposed, and known or expected health risk.
Local Municipal Code
Many local municipalities have property maintenance, public nuisance, or health and sanitation ordinances that set rules and regulations regarding the protection of health, safety, and welfare of its residents. The local building inspector or police department provides enforcement for these ordinances. Complaints should first be directed to your municipalities building inspector before contacting Public Health.
File a Complaint
To file a complaint about a suspected human health hazard, please click here and complete the entire form. All complaints must be made in writing, and will be forwarded to the appropriate party.
Please note: Complaints you provide to Walworth County Public Health are not confidential. The information you provide may be subject to a public record request.
File a Complaint
To file a complaint about a health hazard, email Public Health or call at 262-741-3140. If you would like your complaint to remain anonymous, you must indicate that in your email. Please include the following information in your email:
(Items marked with an asterisk are required)
- Any Additional Comments
- Approximate Time Incident Occurred
- Date of Incident*
- Description of What Happened*
- Owner of Human Health Hazard Name*
- Street Address of Health Hazard*
- Whether or not this is an anonymous complaint*
- Your name*