Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible gas that can only be detected through radon testing. It is produced by the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils across the United States. Due to the natural geology of Southwest Colorado, the percentage of homes in this area with unsafe levels of radon is higher than the national average. Radon gas can seep in through cracks in foundations, crawl spaces, or well water. Testing your home is easy and, if necessary, fixing the problem is much easier and cheaper than other home repairs.

Radon exposure is the nation's second-leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause in people who have never smoked. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that exposure to radon in the home is responsible for over 500 deaths annually in the state of Colorado. LPCPH and CSU Extension encourage local residents to take action by learning how to use a free radon test kit and how to understand your results so you can keep your family safe.

Radon Facts



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Radon
TESTING FOR RADON
The first step to understanding your radon exposure is to perform a short-term radon screening test. Test kits are placed in the home for three to seven days and then mailed to a laboratory using a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Test kits should be hung in the air in the center of a room on the lowest living level of a home (including a finished basement if it is regularly used).

Winter is the ideal time to test for radon because it's hard for radon to rise through layers of snow or frozen ground, which means it may find an easier path through cracks in your foundation or through your crawlspace or well water. La Plata County Public Health recommends that all first-time radon testing be done in the winter months. 

As of July 1, 2022, all radon testing in Colorado must be done by a licensed radon professional, except for homeowners testing a home that they own and occupy, or residential tenants testing a home they lease and occupy.

Reminders: time your three-to-seven-day short-term radon test such that the test is complete by Monday morning. Then take your kit to the post office, after removing the hanging hook. Make sure the kit is at your post office prior to the mail going out on Monday. If you miss this deadline, the kit may not arrive at the laboratory before it expires on Thursday. Write down your test kit serial number before you mail it so you can look up the results.
FIXING A RADON PROBLEM
Interpreting Your Results

Your short-term radon test results will be available from this link within a few days of testing. Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The EPA has set a standard of 4 pCi/L in homes, but this standard is not a requirement your home must meet. Instead, it reflects a level that you can expect to achieve with proper mitigation. If your result is less than 4, file your results away and re-test in four to five years. If your result is between 4 and 8,  CSU Extension recommends following up with a long-term radon test taking three to twelve months. 

If you have a long-term radon level of over 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), we recommend considering a mitigation system. Mitigation is slightly different in every home, but in general, it involves redirecting airflow from the soil underneath your home into a vent pipe that reaches above your roof. This means the radon gas never enters your living space and is vented harmlessly into the atmosphere.

Finding a Mitigation Contractor

As of July 1, 2022, all radon mitigation in Colorado must be done by a licensed radon professional, except for homeowners installing mitigation in a home that they own and occupy. We recommend using a mitigation contractor certified by either the National Radon Proficiency Program or the National Radon Safety Board, even in owner-occupied homes. Radon mitigation systems tend to be much cheaper than other major home repairs or appliance replacements and can literally save your life.

For questions about mitigation, contact us at La Plata County Public Health at (970) 247-5702.
RADON & YOUR HEALTH
Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible gas that can only be detected through radon testing. It is produced by the natural decay of uranium found in nearly all soils across the United States. Due to the natural geology of Southwest Colorado, the percentage of homes in this area with unsafe levels of radon is higher than the national average. Radon gas can seep in through cracks in foundations, crawl spaces, or well water. Testing your home is easy and, if necessary, fixing the problem is much easier and cheaper than other home repairs.

Radon exposure is the nation's second-leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause in people who have never smoked. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that exposure to radon in the home is responsible for over 500 deaths annually in the state of Colorado. LPCPH and CSU Extension encourage local residents to take action by learning how to use a free radon test kit and how to understand your results so you can keep your family safe.

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