What is Radon?
Radon comes from the natural, breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water, and gets into the air you breathe. Normally, it rises up through the soil and dissipates into the air. Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that can enter the home through cracks in the floor or spaces around utility pipes. This invisible killer is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to the Surgeon General. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.
Why test for Radon?
All homes in Colorado should be tested for radon. The risk of radon in a home can be influenced by several factors: soil type, “tightness” of the home, air pressure, type of heating and ventilation system and lifestyle of the occupant. Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon gas.
How to test for radon?
The easiest way to test for radon is with a short-term test kit. This small detector needs to be placed in the lowest livable space in your home for two to seven days. Test kits include complete instructions and return postage for mailing the kit back to the lab for analysis. Most importantly, look for kits that are approved by the EPA. Contact the your local Extension office for a low-cost radon kit.
How to mitigate radon?
The good news is that there are a variety of methods to lower radon levels in a home. These can include venting crawlspaces, sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation and covering sump pump holes. The right solution depends on the design of the home and other factors, so a qualified radon mitigation specialist is recommended. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs.
If you want to breathe easy in the comfort of your home, take the time to check for the presence of radon gas. When buying or renting a new home, don’t be afraid to ask if the house has been tested and for the results.
To Learn More:
National Radon Action Month-Consumer Information – https://www.epa.gov/radon
CSU Fact Sheets – Preventing Radon Problems in the Home