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Air Quality Newsletter Air Quality Newsletter
Testing For Radon
The City of Fort Collins sells discounted short-term ($6) and long-term ($20) radon test kits at the Fort Collins Senior Center (1200 Raintree Drive). If you reside outside the City limits you can order a radon test kit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Radon test kits are very time-sensitive and must be mailed within 3-5 days after the test kit is sealed up. Failure to follow the instructions can cause the lab to invalidate the results. Be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions that come with the test kit.
The National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) maintains a list of certified radon professionals in Colorado that you can hire to test for you.
The EPA recommends mitigating radon levels in homes that are confirmed to be 4 pCi/L or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and can usually be reduced further. View the EPA's Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction for more information.
The CDPHE LIRMA program can provide financial assistance to individuals with low-income status for radon mitigation. Homeowners must be a Colorado resident, occupy the property as their primary residence and qualify as a low income household.
The National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) maintains a list of certified radon professionals in Colorado that we recommend consulting on any radon mitigation project.
Health Risks From Radon Exposure
Radon is a gas that when inhaled, decomposes into radioactive decay products that cause damage to your lungs and can lead to cancer. Radon is a class 'A' carcinogen meaning that there is adequate human data to indicate that it causes cancer in people.
Your chances of getting radon-induced lung cancer depends on how much radon is in your home, the amount of time you are exposed to it, and whether you are a smoker. Long-term radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. There were an estimated 21,000 deaths in the U.S last year due to radon-induced lung cancer.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas created during the natural decay of uranium in the soil. Radon is everywhere, and Colorado has higher concentrations than other regions.
Radon gas is drawn into homes through cracks and openings in basements, crawl spaces and slabs. Radon levels vary from house to house and are dependent on a number of factors including the age, quality and upkeep of the home.