Eagle County, Energy Smart Colorado, Shaw Cancer Center offer free radon test kits | VailDaily.com

Eagle County, Energy Smart Colorado, Shaw Cancer Center offer free radon test kits

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EAGLE COUNTY — In an effort to help prevent lung cancer from exposure to radon gas, Energy Smart Colorado, Shaw Cancer Center and Eagle County Environmental Health are offering free radon test kits while supplies last.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has proclaimed January as Radon Action Month, a perfect time to test homes for radon because windows and doors are typically closed. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, 50 percent of Colorado homes have radon gas levels in excess of the EPA's recommended action levels.

"That's about what we're seeing here, as well," said John-Ryan Lockman, with Energy Smart.

Radon is an invisible, radioactive soil gas that enters homes through small gaps in foundation walls and floor slabs. Once inside, it mixes with the air we breathe, which presents a serious health risk if high levels of radon are inhaled over time. Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and causes hundreds of cancer deaths in Colorado annually.

Free kits are available at the Edwards Pharmacy inside Shaw Cancer Center at 322 Beard Creek Road in Edwards; the Environmental Health Department at 550 Broadway in Eagle; the El Jebel Community Center at 20 Eagle County Drive in El Jebel; and at the Energy Smart Resource Center located in the Walking Mountains Science Center at 318 Walking Mountains Lane in Avon.

"Short-term test kits are easy to use and are the first step in determining whether your family is at risk," said Ray Merry, Eagle County director of environmental health. "Our organizations are well aligned because we hold public health and safety as a top priority."

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Energy Smart Colorado also can assess home and business energy efficiency, check combustion appliances for proper venting of other gases such as carbon monoxide and provide rebates for radon mitigation systems, should elevated radon levels be detected.

Residents are encouraged to visit http://www.energysmartcolorado.com to schedule a home energy assessment. To learn more about radon, visit http://www.radon.com or call Eagle County Environmental Health at 970-328-8755.