Garfield County offers free test kits and workshops to residents; Homes with results above the “action limit” should consider mitigation
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking, and the radioactive gas could be present in local homes and buildings at alarming levels.
According to the Garfield County Environmental Health Department, 40 percent of the tested homes in Garfield County registered levels of radon above the “action limit” of 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).
Odorless, tasteless and colorless, radon is naturally present in the atmosphere, but if inhaled at high levels over time, can deteriorate the body’s cells and eventually lead to lung cancer.
Mountain states like Colorado are considered at high risk of having radon. “A lot has to do with our geology,” said Morgan Hill, radon expert with Garfield County Environmental Health.
“Mountain areas have a lot of cracks and fissures in the rocks that provide pathways for radon to get to the surface,” explained Hill.