January is Radon Action Month; free radon test kits available | VailDaily.com

January is Radon Action Month; free radon test kits available

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com

Radon is odorless, colorless, extremely prevalent around the state of Colorado and is the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to data compiled by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

January is Radon Action Month and is 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 Environmental Protection Agency's recommended action levels.

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

About Radon

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, which is why Vail Health's Shaw Cancer Center is helping promote Radon Action Month.

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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 St. 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 Eagle County Environmental Health Director Ray Merry. "Our organizations are well aligned because we hold public health and safety as a top priority," he said.

In addition, Energy Smart Colorado 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.colorado.gov/ cdphe/categories/services-and-information/environment/radon or call Eagle County Environmental Health at 970-328-8755.

Pick up a free kit

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

The Energy Smart Resource Center located in the Walking Mountains Science Center at 318 Walking Mountains Lane in Avon