Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

State offers free radon test kits

State offers free radon test kits

Through March 2, Ford County residents who complete a radon test in its entirety can have their names entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free Fitbit.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States - and the leading cause among non-smokers.

"Soil that's kind of in the Redlands is kind of a shale soil and they're usually higher levels in that type of soil versus the granite in the Mesa".

The risk of radon-caused lung cancer can be reduced. The Health Department has a limited supply of free radon test kits for residents.

The EPA suggests installing a mitigation system if your home is at a level of 4 picocuries or more per liter of indoor air.

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Radon production occurs naturally in soil and rocks. Alpha particles then attach to the dust particles and when inhaled can begin the health concern.

There's something invisible in your home that could place you and your family at risk for lung cancer, and you may not even know it.

"Winter is simply a better time to test for radon because your house is more closed up than it is in the summer", Ridella said. It requires placement of a kit for three days. Plug-in monitors are not recommended.

In January of 2016, Durango adopted radon-resistant new construction in its building code, and La Plata County has recommended its inclusion in the pending land-use code. Homes can have high radon levels whether it is old or new, well-sealed or drafty, and with or without a basement. Costs are essentially half that compared with post-construction mitigation. Radon is also found in building materials and in well water. A length of 4-inch PVC pipe goes from the ground to the attic and is hidden within the wall. Exposure is easily controlled. "Since you can't see or smell radon, people tend to forget the health effects that radon can have", says Meghan Williams, Environmental Health Specialist for Lincoln County Health Department.

The Extension Office has partnered with San Juan Basin Public Health to present several community meetings to discuss radon. Radon kits can be found at Home Depot, Wal-mart, Mr.D's, Bomgaar's and Mead Lumber in Sterling.

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