By Jennifer McRae

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– January is National Radon Action Month and Jefferson County Public Health is offering free radon test kits as long as supplies last. One kit will be mailed per address per request on a first come, first served basis to Jeffco residents.

Radon is a dangerous and naturally-occurring radioactive gas that you can’t smell, taste or see. People are exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that enters homes and other buildings through cracks and gaps in foundations.

(credit: CBS)

Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. In Jefferson County, more than half of homes tested have high levels of radon.

“We know that in Jeffco, it doesn’t matter if your home is new or old, or large or small, any home can have high levels of radon. The geology here in Colorado makes us more prone to radon, but by testing, you can know if you need to take steps to make your home safer for you and your family,” said Mitch Brown, Environmental Health Supervisor at JCPH. “If we can find the places radon is getting trapped indoors, we can mitigate it and lessen the negative health effects it has on our community. That’s a win for us all.”

Additional Information from Jefferson County Public Health:

Homeowners do not need to test for radon annually if their homes have recently tested below the maximum threshold (4 picocuries per liter). If your home has recently tested below this, plan on testing every 2-3 years. If your home has tested above this threshold, more comprehensive testing may be needed to gauge the severity of the problem. There is no safe level of radon, so even if your home tests below 4 picocuries per liter, you may still want to consider mitigation.

In addition to providing the free test kits, JCPH staff will be available to help homeowners understand how to use the test kits properly and what to do if the test results show high levels of radon in the air. If action is needed to reduce radon in a home, it’s important to test homes for radon again to be sure the action worked and the air is safe. Resources may be available for those whose homes test positive for high levels of radon and who qualify through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

LINK: Jefferson County Public Health Free Radon Test Kit

Jennifer McRae