- Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that can enter the home.
- Most of Colorado contains high concentrations of radon, considered the second highest cause of lung cancer.
- All Colorado homes should be tested for radon.
- Radon reduction methods can be planned for and installed during new home construction.
- Home buyers and renters should ask if the home has been tested for radon and for the results.
Radon Results in Teller From 2007-2018
What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas emitted from uranium, a naturally occurring mineral in rocks and soil. Normally, radon rises up through the soil and dissipates in the air outside. Radon becomes a concern, however, when it seeps through openings such as cracks, loose fitting pipes, sump pits, dirt floors, slab joints or block walls and accumulates in the home. See Figure 1. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US with approximately 21,000 deaths a year attributed to radon.
Air pressure inside the home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around the house’s foundation. Because of this difference, the house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests mitigating your home if levels are at 4.0 pico Curries per liter or greater. Breathing air at 4.0 for eight hours a day is the equivalent risk of lung cancer as smoking approximately 1/3 pack of cigarettes a day. As you can see from the 3500 radon tests above, over half the homes tested in Teller County are above this level.
You can pick up free short and long-term test kits from my Extension office, Public Health behind Venture Foods in Divide, the Centennial Building (112 N. A Street) in Cripple Creek, and the Building and Planning department (800 Research Drive, Ste. 100) in Woodland Park.