In an effort to help prevent lung cancer from exposure to radon gas, Walking Mountains Science Center has partnered with Vail Health’s Shaw Cancer Center and Eagle County’s Environmental Health Department to raise awareness and offer free radon test kits. January is Radon Action Month and is a perfect time to test homes for radon because windows and doors are typically closed.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, approximately 40 percent of Eagle County homes have radon gas levels in excess of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommended action levels.
FREE RADON TEST KITS available in JANUARY at:
• Pharmacy inside Shaw Cancer Center - 322 Beard Creek Road in Edwards
• Eagle County Environmental Health Department desk - 550 Broadway in Eagle
• El Jebel Community Center - 20 Eagle County Drive in El Jebel
• Front Desk at Walking Mountains Science Center - 318 Walking Mountains Lane in Avon
Radon is an invisible, radioactive soil gas that enters homes in various ways: cracks in solid floors or walls, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors or around service pipes, and cavities inside walls. Once inside, it mixes with the air we breathe, which presents a serious health risk if high levels of radon are inhaled over time.
Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and causes thousands of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. According to Shaw Cancer Center “education and advocacy for radon testing and remediation may help prevent lung cancer.” It is critical for Eagle County residents to be aware of the risks of radon in homes, and these free radon test kits could make a difference in preventing lung cancer. To learn more about radon click here.
The following steps are recommended by the EPA for learning about radon levels in your home:
Complete a short-term test, if results are 4.0 pCi/L or higher go on to the next step.
Complete a follow up test, if results are high again go on to the next step.
Note: If your first short-term test result is more than twice the EPA’s 4.0 pCi/L action level, you should take a second short-term test immediately. You may also choose to take a long-term test to follow-up, this gives you better understanding of your year-round average radon levels.
Consider fixing your home if the average of your first and second test is 4.0 pCi/L or higher. Radon mitigation is available by several local contractors and the Energy Smart Colorado program at Walking Mountains Science Center can get you a list, call 970-328-8777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Short-term test kits are easy to use and are the first step in determining whether your family is at risk,” said Walking Mountains’ Energy Programs Director Nikki Maline. “In addition, Walking Mountains’ Energy Smart Colorado program has rebates available for local homes who get radon mitigation completed should elevated radon levels be detected. A home energy assessment is required for this rebate, which is a thorough energy audit of your home including checking combustion appliances for proper venting of gases and recommendations of energy saving measures. To schedule a home energy assessment or learn more about rebates, residents are encouraged to click here.