Why you should test your home for radon

Digital Now

COLORADO SPRINGS — The majority of Colorado homes tested for radon show high levels, according to the El Paso County health department.

“All throughout the county, there are high levels. And from the data over the last five to 10 years, typically at least 40 to 50-percent of the homes that test in El Paso County are exceeding that 4 PCi/L that is the recommended EPA level for mitigation,” said Marla Luckey, environmental health program manager for El Paso County Public Health.

The health department is encouraging everyone to test their home in January, in honor of National Radon Action Month.

January is a good time, according to the health department, because we keep our windows and doors closed up, for the most part. And this helps get more accurate readings.

“The risk of radon exposure is a long-term risk that can lead to lung cancer and is the leading cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked. So, it’s not an urgent health threat that someone needs to be very scared about immediately, but know that you may have accumulative exposure risks over different homes you’ve lived in across your lifetime,” Luckey said.

Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium in our soil.

You can purchase a short-term radon home test kit from any home improvement store or from your health department.

“radon gas is actually seeping up through the soil, into your foundation, and through the basement and up. So, we recommend that you test at the lowest livable area. So, if you do spend time living or recreating in your basement, then you should go ahead and test your basement,” Luckey said.

If your home tests high for radon, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends you get a mitigation system installed.

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