Risks of Radon in Colorado
Most people who have bought or sold a home in Colorado have heard of radon and that detecting and mitigating the gas is incredibly important. But very few people actually know what radon is and are aware of the disastrous effects it can have on the body. So when people ask, “is radon dangerous”, the answer is a very resounding “yes.”
In order to properly inform yourself about the risks and dangers associated with radon, it is important to first understand what it is and the effects it can have on the human body. Radon is a radioactive, cancer-causing gas that seeps up through the ground. It is a result of radioactive breakdown of uranium in water, soil, and rocks. Unbeknownst to most, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, according to the Surgeon General, behind smoking. Radon in Colorado is quite prevalent and something that needs to be tested any time one buys a home.
To address the radon risk, a home inspector will set up a radon test in the basement of a home for two days. This test consists of a charcoal canister that absorbs any radon in the area. After those two days, the canister is sent away for testing and a lab measures how much radon gas the charcoal absorbs. If the levels are above the required limit, 4 picocuries per liter, than a radon mitigation system must be installed to bring that level down to a safe amount. Surprisingly, one in every 15 homes is found to have elevated radon levels and radon in Colorado is one of the biggest concerns.
If you are thinking of buying a home, knowing the radon level is important, but it is not a deal-breaker. The radon risk can easily be mitigated with a radon-mitigation system and most EPA certified companies guarantee no radon for 10-25 years. Radon in Colorado is incredibly common, so the vast majority of realtors have quite a bit of experience dealing with it. But do not be afraid to ask the home inspector any questions you may have in order to better inform yourself of the radon risks.