Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas found in soil and rock. It seeps into homes through cracks in the foundation, walls, and joints. Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. It can get into any type of building–homes, offices, and schools–but you and your family are likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.
Among nonsmokers, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, lung cancer due to radon exposure claims about 21,000 US lives annually. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is especially true for radon-related lung cancer.
This map shows radon levels in Colorado.
You Should Test for Radon
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from exposure to radon. The Colorado State Department of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes for radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy–it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon.
You Can Fix a Radon Problem and Protect Your Family
If your home does have elevated levels of radon, you can install a radon reduction system. These systems should be installed by a certified radon mitigator. Radon reduction systems are low-cost solutions that work. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. Even very high radon levels can be reduced to acceptable levels with a properly installed radon reduction system. Reducing radon reduces health risks.