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Gov. John Hickenlooper has proclaimed January National Radon Action Month in Colorado. Coloradans are encouraged to test their homes for radon during this month to protect their health.
“Testing your home for radon is simple and works best when all your doors and windows are closed,” said Chrystine Kelley, radon program manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “That’s why January is a great time to test, during National Radon Action Month.”
Half of Colorado homes have radon levels that could cause health concerns. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends installing mitigation systems in any home with a level of 4 picocuries or more per liter of indoor air. If your home already has a mitigation system, you still should test yearly to ensure the system is working properly.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas responsible for more than 500 lung cancer deaths in Colorado each year. The colorless, odorless, tasteless gas can enter homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings and can accumulate unless properly mitigated. Long-term radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer in smokers.
Testing is easy, and high radon levels usually can be mitigated for $800 to $1,200. For more information, visit www.coloradoradon.info. The Department’s website also lists contractors certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program to install radon mitigation systems.