By Claire Ninde
Special to The SUN
January is National Radon Action Month, and San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) will hold free radon testing workshops and provide free radon kits to participants.
Approximately half of Colorado homes have radon gas levels that exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s action level. In Colorado, radon is estimated to cause 500 lung cancer deaths each year.
Radon gas has no odor or taste, is not visible and occurs naturally in the soil. Radon enters homes and buildings through small openings. The U.S. surgeon general lists radon exposure as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
The Colorado State Board of Health has declared January as Radon Action Month and state environmental officials hope residents will take the time to test their homes.
“The best protection against radon is to test in your home and January is the ideal time to test because radon is more likely to enter a home and stay there during the coldest months of the year,” said Brian Devine, interim environmental health director for SJBPH.
Radon workshops will be held on the following dates:
• Jan. 14 at 6 p.m.: Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association, 230 Port Ave., Pagosa Springs. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/86872549133.
• Jan. 15 at 6 p.m.: San Juan Basin Public Health, 281 Sawyer Drive, Ste. 300, Durango. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/87349178745.
Additional workshops will be offered in Durango, Bayfield and Pagosa Springs in late January and February; check sjbpublichealth.org/radon for the updated workshop schedule.
Workshop participants will receive as many free short-term radon test kits as they need and the confidence to use them correctly. Preregistration is strongly encouraged; individuals can preregister for a workshop at the Eventbrite links above.
More information can be found at sjbpublichealth.org/radon/ or call 335-2060.
By Claire Ninde