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Radon Levels in Colorado Top The Nation

The reason Colorado has such high incidences of radon gas seeping up through the ground and into homes and businesses, schools and elsewhere is our soil’s geological makeup. Colorado has a plethora of minerals and elements that occur in our state, a reason that Colorado is known for critical materials mined for everything from the defense industry to gemstones. Uranium is one of the elements that occur naturally under our rugged terrain, and as it breaks down through natural processes it releases radon gas during decomposition. That radon gas works its way towards the surface. As it meets with air, it mixes and becomes part of the harmless combination of inert gases that make up the air we breathe. 

 

Radon has a penchant, however, for more easily percolating up where the soil has been disturbed, rock removed, or slabs poured that create other chemical reactions with the surrounding soil. This equates to where there is construction. Radon will naturally rise and pool in places where there is little to no air movement and will collect and sit, because it is denser than surrounding air.  Some of the stillest air it can find to replace is in the dead air space under your slab, within the air space under your house, or into the quiet of air trapped in the spaces created by the studs in your walls. Over time radon works its way into the air in your home, exposing you to potentially deadly radioactivity. If you happen to smoke, or have a smoker in the house, the risk factors are greatly increased.

Many types of test kits are available, including those available at big box and hardware stores. The tests require being exposed to the air for a varied length of time to gather particles. The test is then shipped to a facility to get the sample tested, and results are returned to the homeowner. Results need to be verified by a second test if the range results are within those suggesting radon mitigation is required.  There are several questions that arise with home tests, among them accuracy, how long has the test been sitting on the store’s shelf (because they do have shelf lives and are often unmarked), and how reliable is the testing facility. Most mail order radon tests require very short-term exposure, often as little as one day. Radon testing to be accurate needs to occur for a far longer exposure period under fairly stringently controlled conditions to be accurate. There are some types of testing equipment that can provide results in less than 90 days and be fairly accurate if used by a certified radon testing professional.

Radon Levels in Colorado Top The Nation

The State of Colorado statistics are not based on pseudoscience or educated guesswork. Colorado based their radon zones off federal testing then confirmed the results with 20,000 pre-mitigation sets of test results to develop a map of the state and where the highest risk factors occurred. Those areas that test 4 pCi/L, or pico-Curies per Liter, a measure of radioactivity, have high radon probability for indoor radon levels that are problematic. If you live in El Paso, Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln, Crowley, Ottero, Pueblo, Freemont, Teller, Park, or Jefferson counties, you county is a Zone One location. There is no place with acceptable radon levels in Colorado that were tested and mapped. Testing and mitigation of radon is the only way to protect your health and that of your family.

 

52% of all homes having undergone testing in El Paso county tested positive for excessive levels of radon. Colorado overall tests above acceptable levels in 73% of all homes and businesses checked, and 39% of all Colorado homes test above the federal 4 pCI/L intervention needed level.  Luckily, good mitigation techniques can alleviate 99% of all exposure, with continual cleaning out the radon gas and preventing further seepage into your home and air spaces. It is a known fact that radon gas exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, and over 21,000 people die every year in the U.S. due to radon gas caused lung cancer. This is a preventable statistic with correct intervention and treatment systems. Contact Certified Radon Mitigation Pros to have your home tested and a mitigation plan put in place to monitor and correct the radon problems in your home.  

Public health officials note that small children are more susceptible to radon gas damage than adults. It is thought their not yet fully matured respiratory structures and small body mass contribute to the challenges. Since children are more susceptible, so if you have children or if your home relies on a drilled well, it is strongly suggested that your water be tested for radon levels. Public water systems are treated by federal regulation and have been since 2003, but radon does penetrate the water column and can release during showers and other water usage in the home.  If you do not want to take chances with your family’s health, or your own, contact us for a free estimate and to learn about our testing program. You should not rely on amateur methods of finding out if your family is at risk for radon exposure.