Jefferson County, Colo. – January is National Radon Action Month, and Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is encouraging residents to protect themselves and loved ones from dangerous radon gas by testing their homes. To help, JCPH is offering 1,200 free radon test kits during the month of January (while supplies last, one per address and on a first come-first served basis) to Jefferson County residents.
JCPH will be mailing the test kits to residents. To sign up to receive your kit, please visit Radon Kit Request (jeffco.us) and fill out the form in its entirety. Due to production delays, kits will be mailed in March and should arrive in April. Homes who send kits in for results and receive results by the first week of May are entered in a drawing for gift cards in amounts of $25, 15 and $10. JCPH strongly recommends residents use expedited mail when returning kits, as the time delay in the mail can causes kits to be invalid.
JCPH will only be able to provide one kit per request/address, so if you are requesting on behalf of an HOA or larger organization, please send this link to your residents and ask them to request their kit individually.
“At JCPH, we are proud to offer this program once again in 2022,” said Tracy Volkman, Senior Environmental Health Specialist at JCPH. “Our residents have shown us that testing for radon is a priority for them, and we know that there are significant health benefits to testing for and mitigating against radon in our community.”
Radon is a dangerous and naturally-occurring radioactive gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. People are exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon in air that enters homes and other buildings through cracks and gaps in foundations.
Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and a top environmental cause of cancer nationwide. In Jefferson County, more than half of homes tested have high levels of radon. While there is always some radon in the air, high levels of exposure to radon over time can lead to a significant risk of developing lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer is even greater for smokers who are exposed to radon.
“Because of the geology in Colorado, homes old and new can have high levels of radon. By testing, you can know if you need to take steps to make your home safer for you and your family,” Volkman said. “If we can find the places radon is getting trapped indoors, we can mitigate it and lessen the negative health effects it has on our community. That’s a win for us all.”
Homeowners do not need to test for radon annually if their homes have recently tested below the maximum threshold (4 picocuries per liter). If your home has recently tested below this, plan on testing every 2-3 years. If your home has tested above this threshold, more comprehensive testing may be needed to gauge the severity of the problem. There is no safe level of radon, so even if your home tests below 4 picocuries per liter, you may still want to consider mitigation.
In addition to providing the free test kits, JCPH staff will be available to help homeowners understand how to use the test kits properly and what to do if the test results show high levels of radon in the air. If action is needed to reduce radon in a home, it’s important to test homes for radon again to be sure the action worked and the air is safe. Resources may be available for those whose homes test positive for high levels of radon and who qualify through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Testing your home, and installing proper air quality controls if high levels of radon exist, is an effective way to prevent the harmful effects radon can have on you and your family. Once the supply of free kits is exhausted, and throughout the remainder of 2022, radon test kits are available for purchase at JCPH for $10 each.
If you have questions about radon and your home’s risk, please visit www.jeffco.us/2337/Radon to see frequently asked questions and helpful information.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.