50% of homes tested in Colorado Springs show high levels of radon

Radon testing kit/Christina Dawidowicz FOX21
Radon testing kit/Christina Dawidowicz FOX21

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Radon is odorless, tasteless, radioactive and very common in El Paso County.

“We do find it higher at the foothills-plains interface along that area, but we do see it out in eastern El Paso County as well,” said Tom Gonzales, deputy director of El Paso County Public Health.

The only way to know if your home’s been affected is through a test.

“Nearly 50 percent of the homes that have been tested are high levels of radon,” Gonzales said.

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., just behind smoking. While it won’t affect your health immediately, it increases your chance of developing cancer. For smokers, their chance nearly doubles.

“It’s for over a long period of time. So, it’s individuals that live in their homes at high amounts of radon. They sleep there, they play there, they live there. That increases your rate for lung cancer,” Gonzales said.

It’s why El Paso County Public Health is encouraging everyone to test their home, whether they own or rent it.

“You want to look at your home conditions. Where is that level, is it in the basement, is it on the main level, where do you sleep, where are you at, are your kids there? Those things you want to look through,” Gonzales said.

In honor of Radon Awareness Month, El Paso County gave away free radon testing kits. Last year, 1,000 test kits were given out. This year, only 450 were available. The county said Tuesday afternoon that all of the kits had been distributed.

>> For more information on radon and air quality, click here. 

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