January is National Radon Action Month
Due its geological make-up, Boulder County has elevated levels of radon gas (actually, all of Colorado falls into this ‘Zone 1’ category).
Radon is an invisible, odorless, tasteless, cancer-causing gas that can get into buildings through cracks, holes and pipes in the foundation. While living in Boulder County does not guarantee a risk, about 54 percent of homes in Boulder County have radon levels that are considered unhealthy, according to Boulder County Public Health. Since people tend to spend much of their time indoors during the winter months, it’s a good time to think about the air quality of your home.
Step 1: Test for radon in the home
Since radon cannot seen or smelled, special equipment is required for its detection. Short-term test kits (like the carbon filter option pictured) are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. Typically, results are available in 2 to 4 days. Long term kits are available as well, but they may take 3 months to a year to produce results (and also may require a lab fee to get the results processed).
Step 2: Determine if action is necessary
If test results determine that you have high levels of radon, don’t worry. The situation is easily remedied, but action may be required to ensure that your air quality is safe.
Step 3: If action is required, plan to retrofit a radon exit strategy
Many local contractors have the capability to install a system to vent radon, and these systems are typically pretty simple to retrofit into an existing construction. To peruse the process and available options for installing a radon venting system, check out this EPA radon information guide (installation info starting on page 29).
For more information and resources, please visit the ‘Healthy Home’ area of the Boulder County website.