Understanding Why Every County in Colorado Now Has a High Radon Risk
There has always been a risk of exposure to radon in Colorado. Until recently, there were still areas that held only a moderate risk of radon in Colorado but on Monday, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that the 12 counties that had only been moderate risk were being moved to the high risk category.
The Meaning of This Announcement
This dangerous, radioactive gas is colorless and odorless, and experts believe that it occurs naturally within the soil. Due to the nature of radon in Colorado, it can seep into a home without anyone noticing, and this higher risk of radon in Colorado homes now means that everyone in the state could be exposed. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there are high levels of radon present in every house in Colorado, but it does mean that tests should be performed to check for the presence of radon in Colorado homes at least once every two years.
Why Testing Is Performed
The issue of radon in Colorado households becomes a danger as the result of things like the house settling or the foundation beginning to crack as the house gets older. The simple wear and tear of houses getting older increases the number of possible entry points for radon in Colorado homes. Regular testing for the presence of radon in Colorado households is a proactive step families can take to lower their risk of exposure.
Suggestions for Homeowners
The importance behind these families testing for radon in Colorado homes comes from the fact that in the United States radon comes in second behind smoking as a leading cause of lung cancer. The presence of radon in Colorado homes means that the entire family is at risk of developing lung cancer regardless of age.
Why Action Is Necessary
The 12 counties that have been added to the high risk category for radon in Colorado are Alamosa, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Eagle, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mineral, Rio Grande, Routt, Saguache and San Juan. Those living in these counties have been encouraged to have their homes tested for the presence of radon as well as to install mitigation systems if the radon levels exceed four pCi/L.
Since there’s no way to tell for sure if there is radon in Colorado homes and businesses, people are encouraged to at least stop by their local hardware store and pick up a do-it yourself test kit. These kits usually only cost between 20 and 40 dollars and are simple to use to test for radon in Colorado homes of every kind. Simply hang the kit in the lowest part of the house for 7 days in a room that is regularly used. After 7 days, the kit will indicate the level of radon in Colorado households.
If the level of radon in Colorado homes exceeds 4 pCi/L, it’s recommended that the test be repeated to prevent the possibility of a false positive. If the second test for radon in Colorado homes yields the same result, then homeowners should look into getting a mitigation system to help lower the radon levels. Radon in Colorado homes and businesses presents a very real risk of exposure. Even when the levels are low, there’s still the risk of exposure, but steps can be taken.