|CSU Extension offers free radon test kits at workshops|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
For the past three years in northeast Colorado communities, Colorado State University Extension has been working to educate residents about the dangers of radon exposure in our homes, schools and business buildings.
CSU Extension is conducting educational workshops again during National Radon Action Month in January and the weeks to follow, and they encourage people to take action to protect their families.
Radon in Your Home, a 90-minute informational workshop for homeowners will be presented at each location. Workshop participants will receive one free radon test kit per household provided through a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The first program is Tuesday, Jan. 25 at the Extension Center meeting room in Fort Morgan. The program will be from 1:30-3 p.m. and then repeated at 6:30 p.m.
The same program will be in Sterling Wednesday, Jan. 26 from 1-3 p.m. and repeated at 6 p.m. at the Logan County Extension office.
To register for either the Fort Morgan or Sterling programs, call Morgan County Extension at 970-542-3540.
In February, radon programs will be held in Kit Carson, Yuma and Washington counties.
On Tuesday, Feb. 22, a program will be held in Burlington at 10 a.m. at First St. Paul Lutheran Church located at 2660 Senter Avenue and in Wray at 2 p.m. at the Wray Community Senior Center located at 741 West 7th Street.
Akron will host one program Wednesday, Feb. 23. at 6 p.m. at the Washington County Extension meeting room, 181 Birch Avenue.
Programs will be held Thursday, March 3 in Julesburg and Holyoke. The Julesburg program will be at 2 p.m. in the Annex Building, 118 W. Third. The Holyoke program will be held that evening at 6 p.m. in the Ortner Room at the Phillips County Event Center.
Fifty percent of northeast Colorado homes that have been tested to date have higher than recommended levels of radon. Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas. It is dispersed in outdoor air from the soil but can reach harmful levels when trapped in buildings.
Scientists have long been concerned about the health risk of radon, but never before has there been such overwhelming proof that exposure to elevated levels of radon causes lung cancer in humans.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
“However,” says Luann Boyer from Colorado State University Extension, “because you can’t see or smell radon, people tend to downplay the health effects and ignore the possibility of a silent killer in their homes.”
Testing homes for elevated levels of radon is simple and inexpensive. Radon test kits can be purchased at local hardware and home improvement stores or directly from radon testing companies for $15-25.
However, participants attending a CSU Extension radon workshop can receive a free test kit while supplies last.
If a home has radon levels higher than recommended for health, a certified radon mitigator should repair the home.
CSU Extension urges residents in northeast Colorado to take action during 2011 National Radon Action Month by testing homes for radon.
For information on radon, radon testing, mitigation and radon-resistant new construction, visit EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/radon/nram or contact Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at 1-800-846-3986 or visit their website at http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hm/rad/radon/index.htm.