News 5 Investigates: Radon gas may go undetected in some homes, schools and businesses

Posted at 11:30 AM, Feb 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-08 18:19:47-05

Similar to carbon monoxide, Radon gas is colorless and odorless. Unless you perform an at-home test or hire a professional mitigation expert, you may never know whether you’re living or working in an environment with elevated Radon levels.

Most of Colorado sits in a high-risk zone for Radon exposure, which is why state and local health departments encourage precautionary testing every five years.

“There is no safe level of exposure,” Marla Luckey, the environmental health program manager for El Paso County said. “I think it’s important that people understand that while they often know that smoking is attributed to lung cancer, Radon exposure for non-smokers is a significant risk. This is the second leading cause of lung cancer if you’ve never smoked in your life.”

Health officials estimate about 21,000 people die every year from lung cancer linked to Radon exposure.

Every January, the State of Colorado makes a big push to encourage people to test for the cancerous gas in their homes, but what about schools?

News 5 Investigates learned while schools are required to test for Radon, many haven’t done any type of testing in decades.

Thursday night at 10, we investigate a loophole in the law that allows many school districts to avoid testing for years. Plus, we’ll reveal testing results from the major districts in our region.

This story will be updated after our 10 p.m. newscast Thursday. ​If you have a problem or issue you’d like our News 5 Investigates team to look into, call our tip line at 719-228-6275. You can also send an email to