Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and El Paso County has been designated as an area with high radon potential, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Take action this January during National Radon Action Month by testing your home for radon.
Radon, a radioactive gas that can’t be seen, smelled, or tasted, results from the natural breakdown of uranium found in soils, rock, and water. Radon in Colorado is generated by the radioactive decay of radium, which is present in uranium-bearing soils found throughout the Rocky Mountains and the eastern plains. All homes regardless of construction type or style can have elevated radon levels.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. Because radon is invisible and odorless, the only way to know if your home has a high level of radon is to test. Testing for radon is simple and inexpensive, and it’s the only way to know if your family is at risk. Test kits are available at home improvement stores and generally inexpensive to purchase. Make sure to look for kits that are marked “certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program.”
El Paso County Public Health Environmental Health Program Manager Marla Luckey says it’s a good idea to test your home this winter. “Homes test high for radon consistently throughout the county, and the only way to know if your home has a high level is to test,” she says. “A short-term test is very easy to use and is best completed during the winter months, when windows and doors are generally closed.”
There are several proven methods to reduce radon in your home. For more information, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends the following resources: National Radon Proficiency Program at www.nrpp.info and National Radon Safety Board at www.nrsb.org.
For more information about radon testing, call (719) 578-3199 and select option 3, or visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org.