Montrose, COLO.— Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of nearly 21,000 Americans each year. Montrose County is offering free radon test kits during the month of January in an effort to protect county residents and their families. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk and testing–at the correct time–may help prevent unnecessary exposure. January is National Radon Action Month and Montrose County urges homeowners to take this simple step to protect their families from radon exposure.
“The radon test kits are part of a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and we are grateful that the region has received grant funding for the past several years to offer this service to homeowners in Montrose County,” said Interim Public Health Director Jim Austin. “The kits are an easy way to protect your family and know your risk. There are also resources available to aid with mitigation assistance.”
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas responsible for hundreds of Colorado lung cancer deaths each year. The colorless, odorless, tasteless gas can enter homes through minuscule cracks in the floor or small spaces around utility pipes. It can accumulate unless properly mitigated. Long-term radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer in smokers. More Americans die from lung cancer than any other cancer.
Governor Polis has declared January as Radon Action Month, and state environmental officials hope residents will take the time to test their homes. According to the Governor’s proclamation, approximately 50 percent of Colorado homes have radon levels in excess of the EPA recommended action level of 4 PCi/L and all of Colorado’s 64 counties are rated at high risk for elevated radon.
Testing is easy and affordable. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website also lists contractors certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program who install systems to mitigate radon. Colorado residents also can call the state’s Radon Hotline at 1-800-846-3986. Free test kits are available while supplies last (one per homeowner) at Montrose County Public Health offices at at 1845 South Townsend Avenue or at the Montrose County Public Health and Human Services building in Nucla at 851 Main Street.