January is Radon Action Month, and both the Larimer County CSU Extension Office and the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) are urging residents to test their homes for radon. Free radon test kits are available for the public to pick up locally as supplies last.
Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, and odorless radioactive gas, and elevated levels inside a home can pose a serious health threat to residents. Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, contributing to as many as 500 lung cancer deaths in Colorado each year. Radon can easily enter homes and other buildings through small openings like cracks in foundations, openings around pumps and drains, and crawl spaces. Any home may have high radon levels, even if neighboring homes do not.
A simple test can determine if high levels of radon are in a home, and even homeowners who already have radon mitigation systems should retest their homes every two years to ensure the system is working properly.
“In Colorado, about half the homes have radon levels higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended action level, and testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk,” says Larimer County Environmental Health Director Chris Manley.
Larimer County residents can pick up a free radon test kit while supplies last. These kits come with postage to the lab prepaid, so they can be tested, dropped in the mail, and get results. Free kits can be picked up at the following locations:
Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive in Fort Collins
Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, 200 Peridot Avenue, Loveland
Red Feather Lakes Library, 71 Firehouse Lane
“A simple test can tell you if your home has unhealthy radon levels, and you can take action to protect yourself and your family by implementing appropriate mitigation measures to reduce elevated levels of radon,” says Christa Timmerman, Health and Well-Being Specialist with CSU Extension.
High radon levels can be effectively mitigated for the price of a typical home repair. In addition, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offers a low-income radon mitigation assistance program. Details can be found here: https://cdphe.colorado.gov/hm/
For more information about radon and a map of local radon testing results, visit www.larimer.gov/radon.