Radon is an odorless, tasteless and colorless radioactive gas that is found in the soil. It is a natural by product of radioactive decay and is relatively harmless outdoors due to the low concentrations.
It can enter homes through cracks in the foundation, unsealed crawl spaces or other holes in the foundation. In the home it can develop into higher concentrations and cause significant health problems. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers and claims the lives of around 21,000 Americans yearly.
The geology in the front range of Colorado produces higher levels of Radon so we need to be diligent.
January 2017 is National Radon Action Month sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The goal of National Radon Action Month is to increase public awareness of radon, encourage radon testing and mitigation, and promote the use of radon-resistant construction techniques.
During January, test your home for radon using a simple radon testing kit. Radon test kits can often be found at local home centers and local Libraries. I know that Longmont Library has testers available for checkout. Many of the local governments around Boulder and Weld Counties have programs to support testing. You can find more information about radon test kits at these sights:
There are many qualified testing and mitigation contractors in northern Colorado who are qualified to perform the test and, if needed install mitigation air circulation systems.
If you are in the market for a new home, the EPA advises that you look for a radon-resistant one. Check out these home construction companies that use radon-resistant construction techniques. If you are looking at a pre-existing home make sure the home inspection includes a RADON test. Mitigating Radon in a home is easily accomplished and relatively inexpensive.
Furthermore, you can help spread the word about the dangers of radon by participating in special events and activities in your community. Contact your municipality or county to learn about local events. EPA’s website provides a variety of information and materials to help you plan and implement your own radon outreach activities.
Spread the word, get involved, and be part of the national effort to reduce radon exposure!