El Paso County Public Health encourages radon home testing in January

Thu, 01/04/2024 – 10:55
El Paso County, CO – January is National Radon Action Month, and El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) encourages residents to take action by testing their homes for radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and El Paso County has been designated as an area with high radon potential, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year, and CDPHE reports that it causes 500 lung cancer deaths a year in Colorado alone. Nearly 50 percent of Colorado homes have unhealthy levels of cancer-causing radon, a radioactive gas that has no color, odor or taste.

Radon results from the natural breakdown of uranium found in soils, rock, and water. Radon in Colorado is generated by the radioactive decay of radium, which is present in uranium-bearing soils found throughout the Rocky Mountains and the eastern plains. All homes, regardless of construction type or style, can have elevated radon levels. Because radon is invisible and odorless, the only way to know if your home has a high level of radon is to test.

“We recommend that you test your home this winter, even if you have tested it in the past,” Duane Dominguez, air quality program manager for El Paso County Public Health, said. “Testing is the only way to know if your home has high levels of radon, which can affect your health in the long run. All Colorado counties have high levels of radon, so homes in our state are at high risk. Homes with cracks and crevices in the foundation may have very high exposure. Winter is the best time to test your home for radon, because doors and windows are normally shut, leading to the most accurate reading.”

Test kits are generally inexpensive to purchase, and homes and buildings that have high levels of radon can be mitigated with simple and affordable venting techniques. Programs do exist, however, to reduce the cost of testing and mitigation for those in need:

Those shopping for a radon test kit should look for kits marked “certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program.” The recommended action limit for radon is four picocuries per liter (pCi/L). If your house tests higher than four pCi/L, you can find information about mitigation and how to choose a certified mitigation contractor at elpasocountyhealth.org/services/radon and cdphe.colorado.gov/testing-your-home-radon. Homeowners who already have radon mitigation systems should retest their homes every few years to make sure the system is working properly.

For more information about radon testing, call (719) 578-3199 and select option 3, or visit elpasocountyhealth.org.


NEWS RELEASE – El Paso County Public Health encourages radon home testing in January_1

Michelle Beyrle

Public Health Information Officer

(cell) 719-244-1947

El Paso County, CO