By Jack Lowenstein

(CBS4) — Denver is providing free radon testing to city residents to encourage them to test their homes for radon gas, a colorless odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.

(credit: CBS)

According to Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, the initiative comes during National Radon Action Month, and 700 hundred kits will be available for curbside pickup on a first-come, first-served basis from 7 to 10:30 a.m. on both Wednesday, Jan. 12 and Tuesday, Jan. 18 at Denver Animal Shelter (1241 W. Bayaud Ave. Denver, CO 80223).

Roughly 50% of homes in Colorado that test for radon have levels higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended Radon Action Level of 4 pCi/L (picocurries per liter). Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, with roughly 500 people in Colorado and 21,000 people dying nationally after inhaling radon.

“Testing your home for radon is a simple step you can take to prevent dangerous exposure to a potentially deadly gas,” said DDPHE Executive Director Bob McDonald in the press release. “These free testing kits help keep our communities safe.”

If your home test results show high levels of radon, DDPHE environmental scientists recommend taking a second test. Once those results confirm elevated levels, the next step is to call a professional to help clear the air. Make sure you are hiring a certified contractor, by checking with the National Radon Proficiency Program. Some residents may quality for low-cost or no-cost assistance through Colorado’s Low-Income Radon Mitigation Assistance (LIRMA) Program. DDPHE recommends testing your home every two to three years.

Visit the City of Denver’s Radon Page for more information about radon in Denver and steps you can take to ensure you and your family are safe.

Jack Lowenstein