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Health officials urge radon home testing - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Health officials urge radon home testing

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PUEBLO COUNTY -

An invisible, odorless, radioactive gas called radon can pose serious health problems when found in your home.

January is National Radon Action Month and the Pueblo City-County Health Department is urging folks to test for radon.

"It's important to test and start out the new year right and test your home," Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods, Public Health Director for the Pueblo City-County Health Department said.

Many of the homeowners we spoke with were not concerned about radon. Now, Pueblo's Public Health Director is encouraging all homeowners to test for radon.

"I'm concerned about radon as a public health issue because it's probably the least understood cause of cancer," Dr. Nevin-Woods said.

As the second leading cause of lung cancer, this radioactive gas comes up from the ground from uranium.

"Colorado has higher amounts of uranium, one because we're a mountain state, it's in the mountains. It's also in areas where there's an increased amount of granite and shale," she said.

We found out, of the homes that were tested last year in Pueblo County, 65% have high levels of radon. Almost 20% more than the homes tested in El Paso County.

"If a home is on top of an are where there's high radon, it will come into the living space of the home and expose the people that live there," she said.

The screening kits are simple, just open the package, place the foam plug in the center, hang it up for about three to four days and send it in.

Health officials say the results should come within about a week of testing and will indicate if you need a long-term test or radon mitigation.

"Everyone should be testing their home, it doesn't matter if you have an old home, you live in the city or you live in the county, everyone should be testing their home," she said.

The Pueblo City-County Health Department is offering radon testing kits for free until their supply runs out at 101 West 9th Street in their Environmental Health department.

The El Paso County Public Health Department is also offering free kits for the month of January in their Environmental Health Division at 1675 West Garden of the Gods Road.

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