Preventing radon problems in the home

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    By Robin Young
    PREVIEW Columnist
    The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners have proclaimed January as National Radon Month.
    The CSU Extension office will be holding two workshops to educate on the effects of this gas, how to test your home, and what to do if elevated levels are found.
    The workshops will be Jan. 23 and Feb. 10 at 10 a.m. at the Extension office. Preregister for one class and get a free radon kit per household.
    Quick facts
    • Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that can enter the home.
    • Most of Colorado contains high concentrations of radon, considered the second leading cause of lung cancer.
    • All Colorado homes should be tested for radon.
    • Radon-reduction methods can be planned for and installed during new home construction.
    • Home buyers and renters should ask if the home has been tested for radon and for the results.
    What is radon?
    Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas emitted from uranium, a naturally occurring mineral in rocks and soil. Normally, radon rises up through the soil and dissipates in the air outside.
    Radon becomes a concern, however, when it seeps through openings such as cracks, loose-fitting pipes, sump pits, dirt floors, slab joints or block walls and accumulates in the home.
    Air pressure inside the home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around the house’s foundation. Because of this difference, the house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings.