January is Radon Action Month, and the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment is offering free short-term radon test kits to Weld County residents, one per household, while supplies last.
As winter creeps on and the temperatures outside drop, we are more likely to hunker down inside the safe haven of our homes. But how safe are we? When it’s cold outside, radon levels in the home typically rise due to windows and external doors being kept tightly closed and because of a “thermal stack effect,” causing warm air to rise more rapidly, pulling in more radon from the soil around our homes. Your home acts as a cell in which radon can settle and build up to toxic levels. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test for it.
Radon results from the radioactive decay of uranium, which occurs naturally in soil and rock. Due to Colorado’s geologic makeup, we are at high risk for radon exposure. Nearly 50% of all homes in the state are estimated to have elevated radon levels. Because you can’t see or smell radon, people tend to ignore the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year.
Testing for radon saves lives, and there is no better time to test than during the winter when windows and doors are kept closed. For more information about radon, how to test, and how to receive your free, short-term test kit, visit www.weld.gov/go/radon or call (970) 400-2226.