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Radon Action Month good time to test your home
13 January 2018, 01:11 | Melissa Porter
Radon test kits available
According to healthfinder.gov about 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States have a level of radon that needs to be reduced and half of Colorado homes have radon levels that put residents at risk for future health problems.
The kits are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's State Indoor Radon Grant fund, and are limited to one free test kit per household.
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the breakdown of uranium.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. In Colorado radon is responsible for almost 500 lung cancer deaths per year.
Radon results from the decay of uranium found in almost all soils. "And then you leave it there anywhere from two to eight days and then mail it back in", said Faith Lustik, public health planner. If your home's test results show it is at or above 4 picocuries per liter (or pCi/L), you should install a radon reduction system. The only way to measure radon risk is through testing.
It is estimated that almost one home in every 15 in the USA has an elevated radon level. "So we chested in the winter cause that's when your house is closed up and that's where there's the greatest possibility for radon concentration". If your results show a radon level meeting or exceeding the 4 pCi/l EPA action limit, the Kendall County Health Department may be able to provide some low-priced starting points for reducing if not eliminating your risk. Minnesota has high radon levels due to its unique geology and cold climate. If you breathe into too much of the radioactive gas, you won't know immediately because it can take years of radon exposure before you become ill. Logan County has an average radon level of 4.4 pCi/L.
The answer and effort is simple: test your home. Most often, a radon mitigation system is installed in the lowest level of homes and ventilated outside above the rooftop to prevent radon gas from entering the house.
The Extension Office has partnered with San Juan Basin Public Health to present several community meetings to discuss radon.
For information about presentations as well as locations, call the Extension Office at 382-6461 or San Juan Basin Public Health at 335-2030.
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