Radon is a radioactive substance that occurs naturally and poses a substantial health danger because it is the leading cause of nonsmokers' lung cancer. It is a colorless, odorless gas that can enter homes and other structures. Unfortunately, radon is particularly prevalent in Colorado, putting residents at an increased risk of exposure.
So, should you test for radon in Colorado?
Let's examine the dangers of radon, how it enters houses, the need for testing, and the radon levels in Colorado.
Read on to learn more.
The Danger of Radon
Radon is a dangerous gas formed by the natural decay of uranium in rocks, soil, and water. When this gas is released into the atmosphere, it swiftly degrades into other radioactive particles that can be breathed into the lungs. Long-term exposure to these particles, even in nonsmokers, can cause lung cancer.
How Radon Enters Homes
The following are some common routes for radon to enter your home:
Ventilation Systems: Ventilation systems in homes may act as conduits for radon gas to enter your home and circulate throughout its structure. Radon can enter via this route and eventually spread throughout.
The Importance of Radon Testing
Radon is a severe health risk, and testing your house for radon is critical to protect your family's safety. Here are some of the reasons why radon testing is so important:
Peace of Mind: Radon testing in your home helps protect you and your family from this silent killer. If you have excessive levels of radon in your home, you can take steps to mitigate the problem and limit your exposure.
The Radon Levels in Colorado
The amount of radon in Colorado is one of the biggest in the country. The Department of Public Health and Environment says radon levels in about half of the state's homes exceeded the EPA's suggested action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Some sections of the state have considerably higher levels, particularly along the Front Range. As a result of these high levels, the state has enacted a Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) construction code for new homes.
What Should You Do If You Find High Radon Levels?
If your home has excessive radon levels, you should reduce your exposure. Here are a few ideas:
Install a Radon Mitigation System
The most effective way to lessen radon levels in your home is to install a radon mitigation system. This system comprises a ventilation system that pulls radon gas from the home and vents it outdoors. A certified radon mitigation technician can install the system.
Seal Cracks and Openings
Sealing cracks and gaps in the foundation is another approach to lower radon levels in your home. This can help to keep radon out of the house in the first place. To seal cracks and openings, use caulk or other sealants.
Test Before Buying a New Home
If you purchase a new house, you should have it tested for radon before moving in. Radon testing is usually done as part of the house inspection process. If excessive radon levels are discovered, you can negotiate with the seller to install a radon mitigation system before closing.
Retest After Mitigation
If you have built a radon mitigation system or made other improvements to your house to minimize radon levels, you should retest to check that the levels have been reduced. Before testing, you should wait at least 24 hours after installing the system.
Radon is a serious health risk that should not be underestimated. Homeowners in Colorado should seek radon testing to ensure they are not at risk. Testing is simple and inexpensive, and it can bring peace of mind.
Colorado residents should be proactive in protecting themselves and their children from this hazardous gas, as the state has some of the highest radon levels in the country. Remember, radon testing is the only way to determine if your home has excessive radon levels, so don't wait - test your home today.
By doing this, you can ensure you and your loved ones are inhaling safe, healthy air.